Saudi Arab announces it will hold ‘limited’ Haj this year

Saudi Arabia has recorded 154,223 cases of coronavirus and 1,230 deaths. Around 2.5 million pilgrims visit the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina for the week-long Hajj which is organized once in a year in the month of July.

Due to Covid-19 situation in the whole world, the government’s of the nation’s has limited the pilgrimages in order to control the spread of coronavirus.

Saudi Arabian government has made a decision to hold a “very limited” Hajj for citizens this year and only the residents of the kingdom will be allowed for the Hajj due to the threat of coronavirus. Mecca and Medina is a popular place where every year many pilgrims visit the place to worship. But this is the first time that Saudi Arabia has cancelled the Hajj in the nearly 90 years since the country was established.

On Monday, the kingdom lifted its a nationwide curfew but stated other restrictions will remain.
Indonesia and Malaysia, which combined send Muslims to hajj every year for the pilgrims, had already announced that this year they won’t be sending any citizens from their nation’s for the pilgrimage.

Saudi Arabia has one of the highest cases of coronavirus in the Middle East. The officials of the kingdom stated that due to lack of any vaccine for the virus as well as the risks associated with large gatherings of people, the decision of limited Hajj is taken.

“This decision was taken to ensure hajj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective” while observing all preventative measures and the necessary social distancing protocols to protect human beings from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings”, the government said.

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