Saudi health ministry: No coronavirus cases recorded among pilgrims
Saudi Arabian health ministry has announced that nobody who attended Hajj this year has contracted coronavirus so far.
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Saudi Arabia’s health ministry has said that nobody who attended Hajj this year has contracted coronavirus so far. August 2, marks the last day of the annual pilgrimage which began on July 28, despite spiking coronavirus cases. The event normally is witnessed by over two million people. However, this year, the Saudi authorities banned international visitors, Republic World reported.
Speaking at a press briefing, Health Ministry spokesperson Mohammed Abdulaali confirmed that all pilgrims were safe and that the health services would continue all throughout the Haj rituals. As per the latest tally, Saudi Arabia has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the Arab countries with 2,77,478 recorded infections. WHO lauds Saudi Arabia
Meanwhile, the country’s management of the event was appreciated by WHO chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus who, on July 30, congratulated Saudi Arabia for the steps it took. 'It is a powerful demonstration of the kinds of measures that countries can – and must – take to adapt to the new normal," he said.
The sliver of pilgrims performing the hajj this year arrived at the massive multi-story Jamarat Complex in Mina just after dawn on July 31, where they cast pebbles at three large columns. According to reports, they were travelling in small groups of 20, following strict guidelines around social distancing. The stoning rite takes place in the Saudi valley area of Mina, where a crush of crowds and stampede in 2015 killed more than 2,400 people, according to an Associated Press count.
The global coronavirus pandemic has cast a shadow over every aspect of this year's pilgrimage, which last year drew 2.5 million Muslims from across the world. The Saudi government has not released a final figure on the number of hajj pilgrims this year, but has said anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 would be taking part.