Riyadh: The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced the completion of online registration for 60,000 domestic pilgrims for Hajj 2021, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The ministry started online registration for pilgrims from among citizens and residents from inside the Kingdom on June 13.
According to the ministry statement, the necessary permits have been issued to pilgrims, who have met the health and regulatory conditions and standards for this year’s Hajj.
Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Abdelfattah Bin Suleiman Mashat said that 60,000 pilgrims from 120 nationalities will perform Hajj this year. They have been selected from among 558,000 who have applied for Hajj.
3,000 buses will transport pilgrims, noting that each bus will carry only 20 passengers at a time due to the restrictions of the COVID-19 virus.
“The environment … this year will be different from the previous Hajj seasons. It will be a healthy environment, ensuring social distancing between the pilgrims during the entire journey, thanks to large camps allowing continuous air movement, thus eliminating any risks,” Mashat said.
Saudi Arabia decided this year to limit the pilgrimage to citizens and residents within the kingdom, citing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health escort for every 20 pilgrims in Hajj 2021
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will designate a health escort for every 20 pilgrims in the annual Hajj season this year.
“There will be an escort for every 20 pilgrims, acting as a health leader to offer guidance and verify implementation of precautionary measures during all movements of the pilgrims,” spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Hesham Saeed told Saudi state television Al Ekhbariya.
25 tracks were allocated in the courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Makkah Al-Mukarramah for the circumambulation of the Kaaba during the Hajj, he added.
“Preparations have also been taken for the doors through which pilgrims will enter and leave the Grand Mosque,” Saeed added.
This year, eligible pilgrims must be vaccinated against COVID-19, free of chronic diseases, and between the ages of 18 and 65.
The Hajj Ministry said that applicants accepted for Hajj must receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. They can visit the nearest vaccination center without an appointment but within 48 hours of receiving the Hajj permit.
Saudi Arabia launches operational plan for Hajj 2021
Saudi Arabia’s General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Dr Abdurrahman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais on June 30 launched its operational plan for this year’s Hajj season.
Al-Sudais revealed the recruitment of about 5,000 workers to sterilize the Grand Mosque and its courtyards and other facilities 10 times a day, using more than 60,000 liters of disinfectants and the latest cleaning techniques.
The presidency also plans to provide gifts, including umbrellas and sterilizers, that will make it easier, safer, and more comfortable for pilgrims to perform their rituals.
He added that the latest artificial intelligence technologies will be used to distribute Zamzam water using smart robots and high-tech vehicles as per precautionary measures.
Al-Sudais said that the sermons of the Two Holy Mosques and Arafat Day sermons will be translated into ten languages for “nearly 100 million listeners.”
Translators of 25 Languages to Assist 60,000 Pilgrims in Hajj 2021
Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry announced the preparing a team of 40 official translators that speak 25 different languages to help guide this year’s 60,000 pilgrims.
The general presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Affairs announced the employment of more than 8000 individuals to help execute this year’s extraordinary operational plan, which focuses on preventive measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensure safety of pilgrims.
More than 4,000 cleaners and 11 robots will work on hygiene maintenance.
Saudi Arabia to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha on July 20
In Saudi Arabia, Eid-ul-Adha will be celebrated on July 20 as the crescent was not sighted in the Kingdom on Friday. The Zul Hajjah will begin on July 11 and the day of Arafat will be on July 19.
Saudi ministry of Hajj and Umrah to receive pilgrims on July 17-18
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that pilgrims will be received on July 17 and 18 in four centers, before being transported to the Grand Mosque by buses to perform the tawaf of arrival before heading to the holy sites.
What is Hajj?
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
Millions of pilgrims come across the world. 2020 witnessed an exceptional season for Hajj, and in consideration of the “COVID-19” pandemic. The number of pilgrims at that time was limited to about 10 thousand from inside Saudi Arabia only, compared to about 2.5 million pilgrims in 2019 from all parts of the world.