Bottled holy water, sterilised pebbles: Saudi issues new health guidelines during Hajj

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 08, 2020, 03.35 PM(IST)

No Eid prayers in Mecca Photograph:( Reuters )

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Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the hajj to around 1,000 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Saudi Arabia has issued new health guidelines for the pilgrims during hajj pilgrimage in Mecca due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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According to the guidelines, the pilgrims will be allowed to drink the holy water from the Zamzam well in plastic bottles. Pebbles that were used by pilgrims to cast away evils and picked along the hajj route, will be sterilised and bagged. 

It will be compulsory for pilgrims to bring their own rugs. Saudi Arabia decided in June to limit the number of domestic pilgrims attending the hajj to around 1,000 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Touching the Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, will be banned during the hajj this year, and a social distancing space 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, a statement by the Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) elaborated.

Saudi Arabia is one of the worst-hit middle eastern countries in terms of coronavirus pandemic. The Kingdom witnesses over 3,000 to 4,000 cases daily bringing the total number to over 213,000. 

The country has reported 1,968 deaths due to virus.