This year’s pilgrimage becomes another challenge for the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. The official stressed that no COVID-19 cases have been reported among the Umrah pilgrims arriving from abroad.
Upon starting of the annual pilgrimage to Umrah, there were some 400 pilgrims who are in “stable condition”, Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman Mashat said. None of those visitors, mainly from Indonesia and Pakistan, have or are suspected to have contracted the pathogen at the moment.
The Saudi health authorities say that the pilgrims are abiding by the strict health protocol to ensure that they will be able to perform the Umrah in coming days.
The worshipers have begun the holy rituals on Wednesday after completing a mandatory three-day period of self-isolation. Ten percent of hotel rooms were dedicated to housing the pilgrims upon their arrival for the isolation period.
The Saudi authorities provide all the needs of the pilgrims to ensure that they perform the rituals smoothly and safely. Any worshipper showing symptoms of the virus will be treated.
In November, Saudi Arabia is expected to receive some 10,000 pilgrims per day and the worshipers. According to the Gulf Cooperation’s rules, they will be allowed to perform the Umrah in batches of 3,300 at a time and within three hours. Once a batch completes the rituals, they are allowed to leave Makkah’s Grand Mosque and a new batch arrives after the holy sites are disinfected.