Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hajj Begins Tomorrow-- Scaled Down In Response To Pandemic

The Hajj begins tomorrow in Saudi Arabia, in a scaled down fashion because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  AP and Andoula Agency both report on the event which will be limited to between 1,000 and 10,000 participants who are already living in Saudi Arabia. Normally the Hajj attracts 2.5 million pilgrims. According to AP:
This year, pilgrims must wear face masks and will only be able to drink holy water from the Zamzam well in Mecca that has been pre-packaged in plastic bottles. Pebbles for casting away evil that are usually picked up by pilgrims along hajj routes will be sterilized and bagged before being distributed to pilgrims.
Pilgrims are also bringing their own prayer rugs and will be required to pray at a distance from one another, rather than packed shoulder to shoulder.