Saudi Arabia bars foreigners from hajj due to COVID, allows only 60,000 pilgrims from kingdom
Saudi Arabia mentioned this 12 months’s hajj, which can start in mid-July, may even be restricted to these ages 18 to 65, and vaccination is obligatory
Dubai: Saudi Arabia introduced Saturday this 12 months’s hajj pilgrimage will likely be restricted to not more than 60,000 folks, all of them from inside the kingdom, due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement by the kingdom comes after it ran an extremely pared-down pilgrimage final 12 months over the virus, however nonetheless allowed a small variety of the trustworthy to participate within the annual ceremony.
An announcement on the state-run Saudi Press Company quoted the kingdom’s Hajj and Umrah Ministry making the announcement. It mentioned this 12 months’s hajj, which can start in mid-July, will likely be restricted to these ages 18 to 65.
These collaborating have to be vaccinated as properly, the ministry mentioned.
“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is honoured to host pilgrims yearly, confirms that this association comes out of its fixed concern for the well being, security and safety of pilgrims in addition to the security of their nations,” the assertion mentioned.
In final 12 months’s hajj, as few as 1,000 folks already residing in Saudi Arabia had been chosen to participate within the hajj. Two-thirds had been international residents from among the many 160 completely different nationalities that will have usually been represented on the hajj. One-third had been Saudi safety personnel and medical workers.
Annually, up to 2 million Muslims carry out the hajj, a bodily demanding and infrequently expensive pilgrimage that attracts the trustworthy from all over the world. The hajj, required of all able-bodied Muslims to carry out as soon as of their lifetime, is seen as an opportunity to wipe clear previous sins and convey about larger humility and unity amongst Muslims.
The kingdom’s Al Saud ruling household stakes its legitimacy on this oil-rich nation on overseeing and defending the hajj websites. Making certain the hajj occurs has been a precedence for them.
Illness outbreaks have at all times been a priority surrounding the hajj. Pilgrims fought off a malaria outbreak in 632, cholera in 1821 killed an estimated 20,000, and one other cholera outbreak in 1865 killed 15,000 earlier than spreading worldwide.
Extra lately, Saudi Arabia confronted hazard from a unique coronavirus , one which causes the Center East respiratory syndrome, or MERS. The kingdom elevated its public well being measures through the hajj in 2012 and 2013, urging the sick and the aged not to participate.
Lately, Saudi officers additionally instituted bans on pilgrims coming from nations affected by the Ebola virus.
Saudi Arabia had closed its borders for months to attempt to cease the unfold of the coronavirus . For the reason that begin of the pandemic, the kingdom has reported over 462,000 instances of the virus with 7,500 deaths. It has administered some 15.4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, in accordance to the World Well being Group. The kingdom is residence to over 30 million folks.
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