Hajj 2020: Pilgrimage To Mecca Started
Hajj 2020: Hajj – One of the five pillars of Islam. The annual Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca has started, but histrionically it is different due to the pandemic. Hajj is mandatory for all Muslims who can afford and physically capable of performing it at least once in their lifetime. Hajj is a five-day pilgrimage and one of the world’s largest religious gatherings.
But this year, due to pandemic, only 10,000 people who are already living in Saudi Arabia can participate in the pilgrimage. Earlier Saudi authorities said only 1,000 pilgrims residing in the kingdom would be allowed for Hajj.
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Khalid bin Qarar Al-Harbi, Saudi Arabia’s director of public security, said, “There are no security-related concerns in this pilgrimage, but [downsizing] is to protect pilgrims from the danger of the pandemic.”
Pilgrims must wear masks and follow physical distancing during religious rites that are observed during these five days in Mecca. Those who are participating in the Hajj were subject to temperature checks, tests and kept in a short quarantine before the rites started on Wednesday.
Saudi media showed health workers sanitising pilgrims’ luggage, and pilgrims were given electronic wristbands to allow authorities to monitor their location.
This year due to pandemic touching the Kaaba is banned. All pilgrims must maintain a physical distance of five feet or (1.5 metres) during prayers.
Hajj authorities are setting up health facilities, mobile clinics and ambulances to accommodate the pilgrims. In this year Hajj foreign press is not allowed.
The worshipers were given extravagant amenity kits that contain sterilised pebbles for a stoning ritual, sanitizers, masks, jaanimaz (namaz mat) and the “ihram”, a white garment worn by pilgrims, as per Hajj ministry programme document.