23 June Kathmandu:
Saudi Arabia has announced Hajj will go ahead next month but with a “very limited” number of pilgrims allowed to take part. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only the people already living in the kingdom are allowed to take part in the pilgrimage that begins in late July.
The decision was made due to the ongoing threat from the coronavirus and to preserve “global public health,” the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said.
“It was decided to hold the pilgrimage this year with very limited numbers ,with different nationalities in the kingdom,” the official Saudi Press Agency said on Monday, citing the Hajj ministry.
Last year, More than 2 million Muslims performed Hajj, and of those, more than 1.8 million pilgrims traveled to Saudi Arabia from abroad to take part. The Hajj ministry said this year there is risk of transmitting the disease between countries and the fear of increasing infections.
The ministry said Saudi Arabia’s top priority is to always enable Muslim pilgrims can perform Hajj and Umrah safely.
The Hajj is scheduled this year to start at the end of July. Performing the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and one of the biggest religious gatherings in the world. Hajj occurs two months and 10 days after Ramadan ends, during the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.