Saudi Arabia Restricts Hajj, Bans Pilgrims from Abroad

Riyadh, MINA – The Kongdom of Saudi Arabia will only accept 60,000 citizens and residents to perform the pilgrimage this year while closing the door for pilgrims from abroad.

“Only 60,000 people from all countries residing in Saudi Arabia are allowed to perform Hajj due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said in a written statement, as quoted from Anadolu Agency on Saturday.

The Saudi added that those without chronic diseases, aged between 18 and 65 and have been vaccinated, would be allowed to perform the Hajj.

On May 9, Saudi Arabia had announced this year’s Hajj would be held amid health protocol measures to prevent Covid-19.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam which a Muslim is required to perform at least once in their lifetime if they are able.

A total of 15.61 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in Saudi Arabia, according to Our World in Data.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia reached 463,703 cases, including 7,537 deaths.

Since first appearing in China in December 2019, the new coronavirus has spread to at least 192 countries and regions.

The US, India and Brazil are currently the hardest hit countries in the world.

The pandemic has killed more than 3.78 million people worldwide, with more than 175.32 million cases, according to figures compiled by the US Johns Hopkins University. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)