The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia said the annual pilgrimage would be limited to a limited number of pilgrims of all nationalities already residing in the country, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
A ministry statement said Covid-19 cases would continue to increase globally, and due to the risk of coronavirus spreading in overcrowded areas and from other countries, the hajj will be “held this year with a limited number of pilgrims from all nationalities residing only in Saudi Arabia.” To Arabia and who are willing to perform the Hajj. “
“This decision is made to ensure that the hajj is performed in a safe manner with the obligation to take all preventive measures to protect Muslims and adhere strictly to the teachings of Islam in preserving our health and safety,” the statement said.
A statement from the ministry said that the Saudi Ministry of Health stated that the risks of coronavirus were expected to “increase further, but there are no vaccines available for those infected with the disease yet. Global health security should be preserved.”
The ministry said it would be difficult to maintain adequate distance in overcrowded areas and prevent the virus from spreading.
Based on these concerns, a statement from the Hajj Ministry said: “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose main priority is always to provide care to enable Muslims to perform Hajj rites or die safely and securely, has taken strict precautions from the outset to protect pilgrims. . from COVID-19. “
More than two million Muslims performed the hajj last year, of which more than 1.8 million pilgrims traveled to Saudi Arabia from abroad to participate.
Performing Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and it 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 Hajj is set 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 Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son according to Divine commands.