Hajj pilgrimage starts amidst COVID restrictions

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Riyadh: The Hajj pilgrimage will begin today amidst COVID widening. Pilgrims will move to Minah in the afternoon. All the pilgrims have reached Makkah.

Pilgrims will leave for Minah in the afternoon after performing Ihram for Hajj at Kharnul Manasi, a border town of Makkah. Pilgrims are accommodated in multi-storied mina towers instead of minah. The Saudi government is on high alert in the wake of Covid-19.

In the context of Covid-19, only 1,000 pilgrims from 160 countries are allowed to perform the Hajj this year. People from outside the country will not be able to participate in the Hajj pilgrimage this time. Only domestic pilgrims are allowed this time. About 700 foreigners living in Saudi Arabia are participating in the Hajj.

The pilgrims reach Minah, eight kilometers from Makkah, after completing four days of quarantine and medical check-ups. It will move from Mina to Arafa on Thursday morning. There will be a funeral procession in Jamra, a procession around the Kaaba, and a journey between Safa and Marwahi.

Participate in prayer services in full compliance with Kovid standards. Pilgrims must wear masks and maintain social distance. All the luggage of the pilgrims is equipped to be disinfected. Last year, 2.5 million pilgrims took part in the Hajj.

Meanwhile, the number of COVID victims in Saudi Arabia is approaching three lakh. The Saudis decided to carry out the pilgrimage only with restrictions, as mass prayers and rituals would cause the COVID spread.