Due to COVID, Saudi Arabia bans hajj by foreign pilgrims | Coronavirus pandemic news

Saudi Arabia stated that the pilgrimage will be limited to 60,000 citizens and residents.

After Saudi Arabia restricts its annual Hajj activities to citizens and residents, this year will not allow foreign pilgrims to make hajj again, and set a maximum of 60,000 pilgrims in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry said in a statement on Saturday: “Those who wish to perform the Hajj must be free of chronic diseases and vaccinated” and are between 18 and 65 years of age.

The statement added: “As the world is witnessing the coronavirus pandemic… and the emergence of new variants, the relevant authorities will continue to monitor the global health situation.”

Last year, the kingdom Reduced the number of pilgrims After the first modern ban on foreign Muslims from participating in ceremonies, about 1,000 Saudi citizens and residents helped prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Two-thirds are residents of 160 different nationalities, and these people usually participate in the Hajj. One third are Saudi security personnel and medical personnel. This year’s pilgrimage is expected to begin in mid-July.

Hajj, one Once in a lifetime duty For every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, this is the main source of revenue for the Saudi government.

Before the pandemic imposed social distancing on a global scale, some 2.5 million pilgrims Official figures show that they used to travel to Mecca and Medina for a week of pilgrimages to the most sacred places in Islam, as well as smaller annual Umrah pilgrimages, which bring about 12 billion U.S. dollars in revenue to the country each year .

The gathering of millions of pilgrims from all over the world may be the main reason for the spread of the coronavirus.

To date, Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 463,000 coronavirus infections, including 7,536 deaths.

The Ministry of Health says it has vaccinated more than 15 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in a country with a population of approximately 34 million.

In October last year, in order to relax restrictions on the coronavirus, Saudi Arabia opened the Grand Mosque for the first time in seven months for prayers and partially resumed the Umrah pilgrimage.

The limit for Umrah pilgrims is 20,000 per day, and a total of 60,000 pilgrims are allowed to pray daily in the mosque.

Umrah usually attracts millions of Muslims from all over the world every year. The authorities stated that once the threat of the pandemic diminishes, the Umrah will be allowed to resume full capacity.

Due to fear of the coronavirus outbreak, the Saudi authorities suspended the Umrah in 2020, and there are almost no worshippers in the Kaaba of the Grand Mosque. [File:Reuters]

Source link