Yearly, the annual Hajj pilgrimage brings hundreds of thousands of Muslims to the holy metropolis of Mecca. This yr, nevertheless, the heavy crowds that normally descend upon one among Islam’s holiest shrines gave method to some thousand pilgrims sustaining social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hanging photographs 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 among the 5 pillars of Islam and a should for able-bodied Muslims no less than as soon as of their lifetime. In accordance with 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.
Pictures 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 generally characteristic massive crowds. In accordance with Al Jazeera, in contrast to previous years, pilgrims this time had been additionally not allowed to the touch the Kaaba.
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Different 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 repeatedly.
The protection measures had been launched protecting in thoughts the coronavirus pandemic. The virus has contaminated greater than 17 million folks worldwide.
“Holding the ritual within the shadow of this pandemic… required lowering the numbers of pilgrims, however it obliged numerous official businesses to place in double efforts,” 84-year-old King Salman stated in a speech learn out on state tv by appearing media minister Majid Al-Qasabi, in line with AFP.
“The Hajj this yr was restricted to a really restricted variety of folks from a number of nationalities, making certain the ritual was accomplished regardless of the tough circumstances,” he stated.
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