By Nour El-Miligi
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced strict measures since March; that included 24-hour curfews in most cities as a way to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Thereby, this decision precluded pilgrims coming annually from overseas to practice the traditional religious Hajj.
However, Saudi Arabia issued a statement on Monday to resume the Hajj pilgrimage this year for citizens and residents of all nationalities living in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, allowing a very limited number of pilgrims to pursue the annual ritual. The Kingdom will also consider people’s safety as a priority by applying the Islamic Law of protecting human souls.
In light of the increase of coronavirus patients, the Hajj Ministry’s decision of suspending pilgrims’ arrival was derived by the authorities’ keenness to protect worshippers from the virus, noting how hard it is to maintain social distancing and hygienic measures while holding rituals of Al Hajj. Yet the gradual lifting of restrictions plan included holding annual Hajj pilgrimage again in the Kingdom, while taking care of the guests in the Holy Land, enforcing preventive measures throughout the religious pilgrimage.