Faizel Patel – 06/07/2020
As the days of Hajj draw close, the Saudi National Center for Disease Prevention and Control has issued special health protocols for those that will be performing hajj this year.
Last month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Hajj & Umrah Ministry has confirmed that Hajj 1441/2020 will be performed with a limited number of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in the kingdom.
The annual Hajj has also been cancelled for South Africans after International Relations minister, Naledi Pandor indicated that South African borders are currently closed and will not be open for international commercial travel except for the repatriation of citizens under the current COVID-19 lockdown.
Saudi Gazette reports that according to the protocols by the Saudi National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, hujjaj will not be allowed to touch or kiss the Holy Kaaba and the Hajre Aswad and they have to use packaged sterilized pebbles for stoning the Jamarat in Mina.
Other measures include entry to the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat without a Hajj permit will be prohibited effective from July 19 (Dhul Qada 28) until the end of Dhul Hijjah 12, the fifth day of the Hajj.
It will also be compulsory for Hujjaj to wear masks and all those engaged in Hajj duty at all times while any person, who has flu symptoms such as high temperature, cough, runny nose, sore throat or sudden loss of sense of smell and taste, will not be allowed to engage in Hajj duty until after the symptoms disappear and producing report of the treating doctor showing his recovery.
While Hujjaj will be allowed to take drinking water and Zamzam water for individuals in single-use containers, all refrigerators in the Haram in Makkah and the holy sites will be removed and not used.
When performing Tawaaf, there will be at least 1.5 meters distance between Hujjaj with security monitoring the compliance of social distancing and other health protocols.
The Mataf and masa (area for performing the ritual of sai between Safa and Marwa) will also be sterilized before and after the performance of the rituals of tawaf and sai by groups of Hujjaj.