Every yr, the annual Hajj pilgrimage brings tens of millions of Muslims to the holy metropolis of Mecca. This yr, nonetheless, the heavy crowds that normally descend upon one in all Islam’s holiest shrines gave manner to some thousand pilgrims sustaining social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Striking pictures which have gone viral on-line present the distinction between Hajj within the time of COVID-19 and people of earlier years.
The Hajj, which started on Wednesday, is likely one of the 5 pillars of Islam and a should for able-bodied Muslims at the very least as soon as of their lifetime. According to CNN, over 2 million pilgrims usually attend the Hajj – a pilgrimage made to the Kaaba within the metropolis of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. This yr, solely as much as 10,000 folks already residing in Saudi Arabia had been allowed to attend a scaled-down Hajj.
Photos present the worshipers at Hajj circumambulating the Kaaba – the sacred stone construction on the centre of the Grand Mosque – whereas sustaining social distancing and sporting face masks.
The pics are in stark distinction to scenes from earlier years, which usually function giant crowds. According to Al Jazeera, in contrast to previous years, pilgrims this time had been additionally not allowed to the touch the Kaaba.
— Mohamad Ali Harissi (@aleeharissi) July 29, 2020
Other security measures had been additionally in place – with solely folks between the ages of 20 to 50 allowed to attend the Hajj, and employees sanitising the mosque often.
The security measures had been launched preserving in thoughts the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has contaminated greater than 17 million folks worldwide.
“Holding the ritual in the shadow of this pandemic… required reducing the numbers of pilgrims, but it obliged various official agencies to put in double efforts,” 84-year-old King Salman stated in a speech learn out on state tv by performing media minister Majid Al-Qasabi, in response to AFP.
“The Hajj this year was restricted to a very limited number of people from multiple nationalities, ensuring the ritual was completed despite the difficult circumstances,” he stated.
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