KSA completes screening of Hajj pilgrim requests from 160 nationalities

07:46 PM | 13 Jul, 2020
KSA completes screening of Hajj pilgrim requests from 160 nationalities
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ISLAMABAD – Requests from people of 160 nationalities in the Kingdom have been screened electronically to select who will perform Hajj this year, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Monday .

The requests were sorted in accordance with high standards that will ensure the safety and good health of pilgrims.

The deadline for all applications was July 10 and the main criterion for selection is good health, Arab news reported.

Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom and the remaining 30 percent will be Saudi citizens.

Last month, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten said that around 10,000 pilgrims will perform this year's Hajj.

He stressed that the rituals will be held according to the necessary preventive and social distancing measures against the coronavirus.

All pilgrims will be tested for COVID-19 before being allowed to perform the Hajj. They will also have to remain in quarantine for 14 days after the conclusion of the pilgrimage. Pilgrims under the age of 65 and who do not suffer from chronic diseases will be allowed to perform the rituals.

Touching the Kaaba, the holiest site in islam, will be banned, and a social distancing of a meter and a half between each pilgrim during the rituals, including mass prayers and while in the Kaaba circling area, will be imposed.

Access to holy sites at Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat will be limited to those with Hajj permits starting July 19 until August 2, and wearing masks all the time will be mandatory for both pilgrims and organisers. People accessing these sites without a permit will be fined 2,666 Dollars. The fine will be doubled for repeat offenders.