Pilgrims begin downsized Hajj today amid global pandemic

Muslim pilgrims on Wednesday have begun the annual Hajj that has been dramatically downsized this year thanks to coronavirus pandemic. Usually, one among the world’s largest religious gatherings of five-day pilgrimage has been drastically scaled down by the Saudi government to strive to stop a coronavirus outbreak.

For this year’s Hajj pilgrims are going to be required to wear masks and observe social distancing.

Pilgrims selected to require part within the hajj were subject to temperature checks and placed in quarantine as they began to arrive in Mecca at the weekend.

“There are not any security-related concerns during this pilgrimage, but (downsizing) is to guard pilgrims from the danger of the pandemic,” said Khalid bin Qarar Al-Harbi, Saudi Arabia’s director of peace .

This year only up to 10,000 people already residing within the kingdom will participate within the ritual, a small fraction of the two .5 million pilgrims from round the world that attended last year.

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