Saudi Arabia to announce Hajj pilgrimage details in coming days

Majid Al-Qasabi revealed the reason for the delay, "Surges in the novel COVID-19 virus and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 vaccines have delayed announcing the details of the 2021 Hajj."

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will soon announce the details of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

According to SPA, the ministers of health and Hajj will announce the details in the coming days.

“The minister of commerce on Sunday confirmed that the details of this year’s Hajj season will be announced by the ministers of health and Hajj in the coming days,” the SPA reported.

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Speaking at a press conference Saudi minister of commerce, Majid Al-Qasabi said that that the “surge in the novel COVID-19 virus and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 vaccines have delayed announcing the details of the 2021 Hajj.”

He pointed out that there is no compulsion to take the COVID-19 vaccine, but it must be taken when a person desires to go to public places, government, and private departments, shopping places, schools, etc. “Human health comes first, and the Kingdom has taken strict precautionary measures in order to achieve this,” the minister said.

Saudi Arabia had earlier announced its intention to hold the Hajj rite this year in accordance with “preventive and precautionary measures” in anticipation of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced in a statement that the Kingdom “puts human health and safety first” and intends this year to hold the Hajj ritual in a “manner that ensures the preservation of the health and safety of pilgrims, in accordance with health, security and regulatory controls and standards that guarantee the preservation of their health.” They can perform their rituals easily and easily in a safe environment.

Saudi Ministry of Health had indicated earlier that with regard to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine for pilgrims, the pilgrims must receive the full doses of the vaccine against the virus approved in the Kingdom, with proof of this by a documented certificate from the country wishing to perform Hajj.

The health minister pointed out that all pilgrims must submit a vaccination certificate with a negative result, proving that they are free of the COVID-19 virus, issued by a reliable laboratory in the country of the pilgrims, provided that the sample was taken 72 hours before traveling to Saudi Arabia.

Hajj was allowed last year and the gradual return of Umrah in October after developing a secure model, focusing on modern technology and digitizing procedures to provide pilgrims with the services they need through the various options offered by the ministry.

On June 3, Indonesia announced the cancellation of the Hajj pilgrimage for its citizens this year due to the spread and outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi Arabia plans to digitize the Hajj this year :

The Saudi authorities have decided to further digitize the Hajj this time as part of the COVID defense measures. The project aims to minimize direct contact between the pilgrims and them on matters related to Hajj through the good use of technology.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has said that the use of human resources will be minimized to reduce congestion, control activities related to the pilgrimage, and regulate the movement of pilgrims. Instead, seek the help of robots.

Robots will be used with the help of artificial intelligence to give instructions to the pilgrims and recite the Qur’an. Pilgrims travel will also be controlled by computer. Authorities said the technology would help control the movement of each pilgrim, including a quick walk around the Ka’bah (Tawaf), a quick walk between Safa and Marwa, and a stop at Arafa.

Unlike last year, the Saudi government had earlier decided to organize the Hajj in a restricted manner, giving more opportunities to foreign pilgrims.

The Saudi ministry of health plans to perform the Hajj with only 60,000 pilgrims, including 45,000 from abroad and 15,000 from Saudi Arabia. However, as part of the COVID-19 restrictions, only those between the ages of 18 and 60 will be allowed to perform the Hajj this time. Also, those who come for Hajj must be completely healthy.

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