Hajj season nears end with no COVID-19 at holy sites

Grand Mosque cleaned 10 times a day during the pandemic crisis

  
Muslim pilgrims, wearing face masks, pray after casting stones at pillars symbolising Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 1, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

Muslim pilgrims, wearing face masks, pray after casting stones at pillars symbolising Satan during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Mina, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 1, 2020. Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

MAKKAH: Pilgrims returned to the Jamarat Bridge for the stoning ritual on Saturday, the fourth day of Hajj, as the season neared an end with no cases of COVID-19 at the holy sites.

The Saudi Health Ministry said the pilgrims’ health status was reassuring, and there had been no public health issues this season.

The Grand Mosque was sterilized and disinfected after pilgrims completed their Tawaf Al-Ifada ritual on the third day of Hajj. 

The mosque has been cleaned 10 times a day during the pandemic crisis.

Dr. Amani Al-Saadi, a health mentor taking part in Hajj this year, said the pilgrims’ health status was monitored from when they left their accommodation until they returned at the end of the day.

Each pilgrim had a designated seat on the Hajj buses to reduce contact with others, and there was a medical clinic at each residence complex, where doctors checked the pilgrims’ health and supplied any required medication.

Farida, an Indonesian pilgrim, was among those privileged to perform Hajj this year.

She said being selected was “unbelievable and priceless,” and expressed her happiness and gratitude at being able to perform the once-in-a-lifetime duty.

“This is like a blessing for me from Allah before I leave Saudi Arabia for good,” she said. “It was very well organized, I take my hat off to the Ministry of Hajj and Ministry of Health.”

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