The Saudi government will not put strict restrictions on Hajj this year. Authorities said restrictions were imposed on Muslim participation in the annual religious gathering as a result of coronavirus concerns. But this year, Hajj will be held as before the pandemic. Al-Jazeera news.
Hajj is an obligatory pilgrimage for those who are physically and financially able among the followers of Islam. Millions of devout Muslims from all over the world gather in the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj every year, which is recognized as the largest gathering in the world.
Saudi Arabia’s state news agency reported that the country’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiyya, said on Monday evening, “I bring you two pieces of good news at this meeting.” First, there will be no age limit for Hajj this year. Hajj will be celebrated according to the rules before the pandemic. The second is that everyone can come for Hajj to any Hajj mission around the world through any licensed agency that caters to the needs of pilgrims in those countries.’
In 2019, more than 2 million 40 thousand people came to perform Hajj. However, the next year, 2020, allowed fewer than 1,000 people to perform Hajj due to the pandemic and lockdown, a drastic reduction. Earlier such steps were taken during the flu epidemic of 1918.
In 2021, about 60,000 residents of Saudi Arabia performed Hajj. Apart from this, around 9 lakh pilgrims worldwide had the opportunity to perform Hajj. However, those below 65 years of age and those who had received the Corona vaccine as well as those who had a Covid negative certificate were allowed to participate in the Hajj.
Disease outbreaks surrounding Hajj are always a concern. Pilgrims fought an outbreak of malaria in 632, cholera killed an estimated 20,000 in 1821, and another worldwide cholera outbreak in 1865 killed nearly 15,000.
It is not known in detail what steps the Saudi authorities will take for health during this year’s Hajj. Although there is no requirement for a coronavirus vaccine or test in Saudi Arabia, pilgrims must be vaccinated against other diseases.
The annual Hajj is very important for the economy of oil-rich Saudi Arabia. It can also be said to be one of the main economies of the country. The government gets billions of dollars in revenue from Hajj every year.