Pilgrims in masks reach Mecca for another scaled-down Hajj due to Covid

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    Mecca is far quieter than usual for second year running with only double-jabbed allowed

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    Around 60,000 pilgrims – all of them double immunized – have actually made the journey (Picture: Reuters/EPA)

    Not a single case of coronavirus has actually been found in Mecca, in the middle of a massively-scaled down variation of the Hajj trip.

    More than 40 times less individuals than regular are going to the holy city for the Islamic occasion, which has actually been greatly interfered with by Covid for the 2nd year running.

    Authorities in Saudi Arabia are just enabling 60,000 totally immunized residents and citizens to participate, far from the large crowds of some 2.5 million pilgrims who come down on Mecca in regular times.

    However, that is considerably more than in 2015, when 1,000 – 10,000 individuals participated.

    Health authorities verified at an instruction late on Sunday – day 2 of the trip – that no cases had actually yet been reported amongst those going to in 2021.

    Groups of the faithful carried out the ‘tawaf’ at Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Saturday, when they circled around the Kaaba, a big cubic structure curtained in golden-embroidered black fabric, which Muslims all over the world pray towards.

    They then made their method to Mina, where they invested the night.

    Saudi pilgrims perform socially distanced Tawaf in Mecca

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    Known as the ‘city of tents’, the area sits is changed each year into a large encampment for pilgrims 3 miles from the Grand Mosque.

    Pilgrims were brought there on Sunday in buses which were just half-filled to regard social distancing guidelines, and authorities offered 3,000 electrical cars and trucks to transfer the senior and those with minimal movement.

    Various social distancing procedures remain in location for the occasion, consisting of guard examining to ensure there is no overcrowding.

    Anyone discovered to be contaminated at the occasion will be required to seclusion centers.

    At the peak of the Hajj on Monday, worshippers will climb up Mount Arafat, the website where the Prophet Mohammed is thought to have actually provided his last preaching.

    Over two million Muslims in Mecca for hajj pilgrimage in 2019

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    Worshippers will hope and recite the Koran there for numerous hours, then, after coming down the following day, they will collect pebbles and carry out the symbolic ‘stoning of the devil’.

    The Hajj, normally among the world’s biggest yearly spiritual events, is among the 5 pillars of Islam and should be carried out by all Muslims with the ways a minimum of as soon as in their lives.

    This year’s trip is bigger than the one staged in 2020 – the tiniest in contemporary history – however is dramatically smaller sized than in regular times.

    Participants were selected from more than 558,000 candidates through an online vetting system, with the occasion restricted to totally immunized grownups aged 18-65 without any persistent diseases.

    A handout photo made available by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah shows Muslim pilgrims, wearing protective face masks, circling around the Kaaba at the Masjidil Haram, Islam's holiest site during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 17 July 2021.

    Muslim pilgrims, using protective face masks, circling the Kaaba at Islam’s holiest website on Saturday (Picture: EPA)

    A handout photo made available by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah shows Muslim pilgrims, wearing protective face masks, circling around the Kaaba at the Masjidil Haram, Islam's holiest site during the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 17 July 2021.

    Various social distancing procedures remain in location for the occasion (Picture: EPA)

    That has actually caused bitterness amongst Muslims abroad, who have actually once again been disallowed.

    Saddaf Ghafour, a 40-year-old Pakistani taking a trip with her buddy, was amongst the ladies who is making the trip – and did so without a male ‘guardian’ – a just recently ditched requirement.

    She branded the experience ‘a privilege’.

    Meanwhile, the boys of a popular Saudi guide who passed away of Covid after 3 years serving pilgrims have actually used up his function in homage.

    Talaat Tounsi originated from among the 6 households in Mecca who generally function as ‘mutawaf’ – guides who assist foreign pilgrims carry out the rites of Hajj and the year-round umrah.

    Pilgrims wearing protective face masks walk in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, on the first day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi Arabia, 18 July 2021.

    Hajj 2021 is the 2nd year that its gain access to is being restricted due to the international break out of the COVID-19 Coronavirus (Picture: EPA)

    Officials carry the new covering cloth of the holy Kaaba (Kiswa) during the annual Haj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, July 18, 2021.

    Officials bring the brand-new covering fabric of the holy Kaaba (Kiswa) on Saturday (Picture: Reuters)

    He passed away in August 2020 at the age of 52, leaving 6 boys and 2 children, and informed his kids to continue his work, with the occupation generally gave from generation to generation,

    His boy Majed, a 32-year-old physician who ended up being psychological while discussing his Dad, stated: ‘We all decided to work this year for the first time in the service of pilgrims to honour the memory of our father.’

    Saudi Arabia has actually up until now tape-recorded more than 509,000 coronavirus infections, consisting of over 8,000 deaths.

    Some 20 million vaccine dosages have actually been administered in the nation of more than 34 million individuals.

    Get in touch with our news group by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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