The Hajj 2021/1442 H, begins this Sunday, July 18, in a Covidian atmosphere par excellence. For the second year, and due to the spread of the coronavirus and its multiple variants around the world, Saudi Arabia has decided to introduce draconian health restrictions for pilgrims, themselves present in limited numbers. Indeed, only 60,000 Saudis and people residing in Saudi Saudis who had their vaccine, were allowed to perform this rite.
In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s continued concern for the safety and health of pilgrims, Riyadh has announced that this year’s Hajj season will be limited to its citizens and residents inside the Kingdom, as only around 60,000 people from within the Kingdom were allowed to perform Hajj, with priority given to those who have not been able to do so within the past five years.
Thus, the teams on site in Mecca are racing against the clock to finalize the final preparations accompanying the pilgrimage. Thus, the operation of cleaning and sterilization continues in this holy place in addition to the installation of partitions to enforce the distance between the pilgrims. Moreover, the Saudi Ministry of Health had set the initial health checks that had to be carried out for this year’s Hajj and the conditions that must be met, before the start of the rituals.
In this regard, the ministry stressed the need for all officials and people working in the organization of the Hajj, to receive the two doses of the vaccine approved in the Kingdom against Covid-19, at least one week before the start of their mission, as well as for all pilgrims inside Saudi Arabia. Moreover, all the sites where the rituals will be performed by the pilgrims have been sterilized, assured the same source, namely the Kaaba, the Mount of Mercy, the Great Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque. Unfortunately, this year, pilgrims will not be able to touch the Kaaba.
In addition, the Saudi Ministry of Health has introduced mandatory precautionary measures for all, pilgrims and professionals, namely the compulsory wearing of masks at all times as well as the respect of the physical distance of one and a half meters for pilgrims. within Mecca.
The competent authorities have also set up a program to accompany the flow of crowds of pilgrims, so that each group is known in advance accompanied by a leader. Likewise, the number of each group must not exceed 100 pilgrims, assured the ministry of health which underlined that the accomplishment of the rituals will be limited only to the age groups of 18 to 65 years.
For access to campsites, hotels and transport to pilgrimage sites, the ministry has also announced the establishment of a “Electronic card of the hajj” which will allow pilgrims to access its sites without contact with professionals.
Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, the accomplishment of the pilgrimage has become more and more complicated. In 2020, only tens of thousands of faithful were able to accomplish this pillar of Islam, against 2.5 million in 2019. Thanks precisely to the measures put in place by Saudi Arabia since the outbreak of the pandemic, no contamination has occurred. ‘was recorded during the 2020 edition.
As of today, and since the start of the pandemic, Saudi Arabia has counted 503,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 8,000 deaths as well as the injection of 20 million doses in a population of 34 million inhabitants.
In addition, and for the Moroccan candidates for this operation, the Royal Commission in charge of the pilgrimage announced last June, its decision to maintain for the next Haj season the results of the draw (lists of detainees and waiting lists of the official organization and tourist travel agencies) of the AH 1441 season.
By way of a statement, the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs, had also clarified that it had been informed by the Saudi Haj Ministry of the decision of the Saudi authorities to limit the performance of the rite of pilgrimage this season to Saudis and residents in Saudi Arabia of different nationalities, due to the situation in the world with the continuing evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and the appearance of new variants, as well as warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the danger of increased contamination among populations, in accordance with the precepts of the Sharia which advocate the preservation of human life.
To this end, the ministry had informed all citizens that the decision emanating from the Royal Commission in charge of the pilgrimage, during its extraordinary meeting held on June 23, 2020, relating to the maintenance of the results of the drawing of lots ( lists of detainees and waiting lists of the official organization and tourist travel agencies) of the Hegira season 1441 will remain in effect for the next Haj season.