Hajj 2021: Limited Pilgrims can perform Hajj due to fourth wave of Covid-19

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Hajj 2021: Limited Pilgrims can perform Hajj due to fourth wave of Covid-19

Today, 60,000 Muslim pilgrims, all citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia, gathered at Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj.

After the noon prayer, devotees traditionally ascend the 70-meter (230-foot) hill and surrounding plain for hours of prayer and recitation of the Qur’an to atone for their sins, remaining there until evening. After sunset they head to Muzdalifah, halfway between Arafat and Mina, where they sleep under the stars before performing the symbolic “Stoning of Satan”.

The numbers are limited to 60,000 people, all of whom are citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia, who were chosen to participate in this year’s Hajj due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The scene was significantly different from previous pilgrimages, which drew up to 2.5 million people, and this year the mountain was free from the huge crowds that descend on it in normal years.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that the decision was taken in light of the global situation and the emergence of new mutations of the Corona virus.
The authorities did not specify how many foreign residents would be among the 60,000 pilgrims.
The ministry said that only people between the ages of 18 and 65 who received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days ago and are free of chronic diseases, will be allowed to perform the Hajj this year.
The Ministry of Health said: “Those over the age of 65 are prohibited from performing the Hajj this year, in order to preserve their health during the ongoing pandemic.”
The ministry said the new safety protocols will be implemented in Hajj areas based on age groups.
Each pilgrim must hold vaccination certificates authorized by the accredited health institutes in their country of origin and submit a negative PCR test certificate issued by a recognized laboratory at least 40 hours in advance.
Foreign pilgrims will have to self-quarantine for three days upon arrival.
The authorities specified the procedures that must be followed at entry points within the country and before entering it. Include verification of all health documents, including vaccination certificates, and visual inspection procedures.

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