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Hajj during the Epidemic: from 2 Million to 1,000

On July 29, local time, the annual Mecca pilgrimage ceremony officially began in the Grand Mosque.

Due to the epidemic, the number of people visiting the Hajj on the first day dropped from 2 million in previous years to 1,000 this year, and the painting style of the Great Mosque that was once shoulder to shoulder has changed drastically.

Feel this density contrast:

Hajj, 2019 VS 2020

For the first time, the pictures of the pilgrimage known as “dense and dense” have become “sparse”:

Hajj, 2019 VS 2020

Since the Hajj is the largest religious activity in Islam each year, in previous years, in the 12th month of the Islamic calendar, an average of 2 million Muslims gathered in Mecca, Saudi Arabia every day to participate in the annual Hajj.

However, due to the special circumstances of this year, in order to prevent the risk of the spread of the new coronavirus when crowds are dense, the Saudi Ministry of Health previously announced that the number of pilgrims for this year’s pilgrimage will be strictly limited.

The number of pilgrims who gather in Mecca during the pilgrimage shall not exceed 10,000. International travelers are also forbidden to participate. It is only open to healthy people aged 20-50. 70% of the pilgrims selected are foreign citizens living in Saudi Arabia, and 30% are Saudi citizens.

Muslims wearing masks walked around the central temple

On the first day of the pilgrimage ceremony, Muslims wearing masks walked around the central temple in an orderly manner a few feet apart.

In every corner of the Grand Mosque, people follow the rules of social distancing.
Anti-epidemic personnel also strictly guard their positions

Some netizens said that the fact that epidemic prevention can achieve this point may have something to do with the Muslim tradition of cleanliness and hygiene. The chewing stick, the predecessor of the toothbrush, has been an important body cleaning tool before prayer ceremonies since the 7th century.

According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University in the United States, as of July 30, Beijing time, Saudi Arabia has reported more than 270,000 confirmed cases of new coronavirus pneumonia, including 2,816 deaths.

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Nancy Huang
I'm a journalist in Shenzhen, China. I have been working in several news agencies in China since 2008.


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