Saudi Arabia’s Hajj and Umrah ministry said the annual pilgrimage would be limited to a very limited number of pilgrims of all nationalities already residing in the country, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.
A ministry statement said that as Covid-19 cases continued to rise worldwide and because of the risks of coronavirus spreading in crowded areas and elsewhere, the Hajj “will be held this year with a limited number of worshipers of all nationalities.” residing only in Saudi Arabia who are willing to perform Hajj. “
“This decision was taken to ensure that the hajj was performed safely, committing to all preventive measures to protect Muslims and strictly adhering to the teachings of Islam to preserve our health and safety,” the statement said.
The ministry said in a statement, citing the Saudi Ministry of Health, that the risks of coronavirus “are expected to increase further, but there is still no vaccine available for those infected with the disease. Global health security must be maintained.”
The ministry said it would be a challenge to maintain the right distance in crowded areas and prevent the virus from spreading.
Based on these concerns, the Hajj ministry said in a statement: of pilgrims from the very beginning of COVID-19. “
More than two million Muslims performed the Hajj last year, and more than 1.8 million of them traveled to Saudi Arabia from abroad to participate.
The performance of the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. The Hajj takes place two months and 10 days after the end of Ramadan, during the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.
The pilgrimage is scheduled to begin in late July this year.
The height of the Hajj corresponds to the main Islamic holy day of Eid al-Adha, which marks the readiness of Abraham to sacrifice his son according to divine commandments.