The so-called “holy city”, which last year received 2 million faithful, has put limitations on the current pandemic. However, the event will take place.
The first step was to disinfect absolutely everything: carpets, walls and floors. The second was to limit to 10,000 the number of faithful who would enter the site under strict measures.
For this year, all attendees must be resident in Arabia, be under 65 years of age and take the COVID-19 test. At the entrance, they must respect the safety distance, passing a temperature control before. This is an obligatory screening in Saudi Arabia where every day 2,000 new cases of COVID 19 infections are reported.
The annual pilgrimage to Mecca began yesterday, although unlike other years the holy city is not full of thousands of faithful, due to the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that has reformed the mass rituals.
The image of the faithful circling the Kaaba; a cubic building containing the black stone that Muslims believe was detached from paradise, has been replaced this year by an ordered and desolate image in the heat of the burning sun.
Thousands of people performed the ritual, which consisted of going around the building seven times counterclockwise, marching separately in marked rows. The distance between the faithful contrasts with the suffocating crowds that this site is used to, which in 2019 received more than 2 million Muslim worshippers from all over the world.