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Hajj 2021: How is it different?

Jul 13, 2021

By Naseerah Nanabhai

This year, a mere 60,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj under a host of preventive health measures. The selection criteria for pilgrims included that they are vaccinated against COVID-19, free of chronic diseases, and be between the ages of 18 and 65.

Here are some of the procedures put in place to ensure rituals are carried out as safely as possible:

· The Grand Mosque, its courtyards and other facilities will be sterilized about ten times a day, using more than 60,000 litres of disinfectant and the latest cleaning technologies.

· Twenty-five tracks are allocated in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque for the safe circumambulation of the Kaabah.

· Pilgrims’ tents at Arafat, as well as facilities in Mina and other areas where pilgrims will stay in Muzdalifah, have all been inspected and sterilized to meet COVID-19 health regulations.

· Pilgrims will be given bottles of sterilized ZamZam water. The latest artificial intelligence technology will be employed to distribute the water using robots and high-tech smart vehicles.

· More than 800 manual and electric vehicles will be provided to help people move around within the Grand Mosque and its courtyards, making it easy for the elderly and disabled pilgrims.

· Pilgrims will be required to social distance during the entire journey.
Saudi Arabia’s government is committed to enabling pilgrims to perform their rituals with security and tranquillity amid the COVID-19 pandemic by tractably managing the pressures imposed by the virus. The decision to limit Hajj to citizens and residents within the Kingdom confirms the government’s keenness to maintain pilgrims’ health, safety, and security, in line with Islam, which calls for preserving human life.


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