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Pilgrims selected to perform Hajj this year begin arriving in Jeddah

Pilgrims selected to perform Hajj this year begin arriving in Jeddah

Only about 1,000 pilgrims – all from inside Saudi Arabia – have been permitted to perform Hajj this year

Saudi pilgrims

The first batch of pilgrims selected to perform Hajj rituals this year arrived at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah during the weekend.

They came from five cities including Madinah, Riyadh, Abha, Tabuk and Jazan, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Only about 1,000 pilgrims – all from inside Saudi Arabia – have been permitted to perform the annual pilgrimage this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Roughly 700 of those selected are expatriates.

Precautionary and preventive measures have been implemented to ensure the health safety of pilgrims and service providers, officials said.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has set up a specialised medical clinic in every place of residence of the pilgrims, and each group will be accompanied by health practitioners throughout to provide medical assistance.

Medical and emergency crews carrying equipment and supplies have also been deployed on site.

After their arrival in Makkah, the pilgrims will undergo institutional isolation from July 25-29 (4-8 of Dhu Al-Hijjah), before heading to Mina, where they will spend the day of Tarwiyah.

Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Muhammad Saleh bin Taher Banten said that pilgrims were mainly selected on health grounds, and there are no exceptions in this Hajj season.

He added that the process was conducted in “complete transparency, with careful observance of health determinants”, SPA reported.

The kingdom has also warned those without permits to avoid entering the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat from July 18 until the 12th of Dhu Al Hijjah (expected to fall on August 2).

Sixteen people were caught and each fined SAR10,000 during the past week for violating the entry ban, an official said.

Read: Saudi to allow Eid Al Adha prayers at mosques, warns of fines for entering holy sites without permit

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