If I had a say, I would recommend that the Saudi government to use the sprinkler system with non fragrant sanitiser instead of water, and constantly cleanse the people on the walk way in and around Makkah, Mina, Muzdalifa and Arafat.
The infrastructure is already there.
Reduce the number of pilgrims, pass a fatwa to allow face masks that latch around the ear or to wear a full face shield.
Have temperature sensors installed all around the entrances.
If not allowing Hujjaj to enter from other countries, let the locals who have never done Hajj, allow them to participate.
Instead of having 2-3 million people, let 20% perform Hajj.
So far they have done what I was thinking (maybe not fully, but almost there)
Special health protocols for Hajj issued
Pilgrims not to touch Kaaba and Black Stone; to use sterilized pebbles for stoning
RIYADH — The Saudi National Center for Disease Prevention and Control has issued special health protocols for the current Hajj season. According to the protocol, pilgrims should not be allowed to touch or kiss the Holy Kaaba and the Black Stone and they have to use packaged sterilized pebbles for the stoning ritual.
The regulations stipulated that 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 pilgrimage.
If any pilgrims are found with symptoms of coronavirus in the midst of Hajj, they will be allowed to complete the rituals only after the assessment by a doctor, and that will be in the company of similar pilgrims.
Separate building or at least residential houses, transportation and schedule for a travel route suitable for their situation shall be assigned.
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.
It is mandatory for pilgrims to wear masks and all those engaged in Hajj duty at all times and dispose of them in the proper manner and in the designated place.
The pilgrims’ waiting at the assembly points, and handling and receiving their luggage at restaurants will be after placing visible signs or stickers on the ground ensuring a distance of 1.5 meters between two individuals.
It is allowed to take drinking water and Zamzam water for individuals in single-use containers. All refrigerators in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the holy sites will be removed and not used.
Only pre-packaged fast food should be provided, separately for each pilgrim. Pilgrims shall strictly comply with the regulations with regard to their stay only in the designated areas by the Hajj organizer in the holy sites of Arafat and Muzdalifah.
There should not be more than 10 pilgrims per 50 square meters of the area of the tents.
As for the stoning of Jamarat, pilgrims have to be provided with pebbles that are pre-sterilized and placed in wrapped bags.
Pilgrims must be allowed to move to Jamarat in their scheduled time so that the number of pilgrims who throw stones at a time does not exceed 50 pilgrims for each floor of the Jamarat complex and they should maintain a distance of 1.5 to two meters between two pilgrims while performing the ritual of stoning.
There should be at least 1.5 meters distance between two performers of tawaf (circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba). Security personnel shall strictly monitor the compliance of social distancing and other health protocols.
Barriers should be erected to prevent pilgrims touching the Holy Kaaba or the Black Stone and supervisors shall prevent the pilgrims from coming closer to the barriers.
Mataf (area for circumambulation) and masa (area for performing the ritual of sai between Safa and Marwa) will be sterilized before and after the performance of the rituals of tawaf and sai by each batch of pilgrims, it was stated in the protocol.
RIYADH — Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Hajj and Umrah opened on Monday registration for those wishing to perform Hajj this year through its website. Out of the total 10,000 pilgrims, 70 percent will be foreigners residing in the Kingdom, with Saudis making up the remaining 30 percent.
Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only 10,000 domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj this year in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Sound health conditions will be the main criterion for allowing the performance of Hajj this year. Among Saudis, only health practitioners and security personnel who have recovered from coronavirus will be allowed to perform Hajj and they will be picked from the database of the recovered persons who have fulfilled the health criteria to perform the Hajj rituals. This is in recognition of their commendable role in taking care of the health of various segments of the society in all phases of the fight against the pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting the ministry sources.
In a statement, the ministry said that the registration on the website (localhaj.haj.gov.sa) for expatriates started on Monday and will end on Friday (July 10) and that the results of Hajj nomination will be announced on Sunday (July 12).
The selection of eligible expatriates and the performance of their pilgrimage will be strictly in line with coronavirus preventive protocols. Only those expatriates between the ages of 20 and 50 who are not suffering from any chronic diseases need to apply. The applicants have to declare that they do not have diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, and respiratory diseases and that they are not infected with coronavirus or showing its symptoms. They have to produce a certificate after undergoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) medical test.
The applicants must have to give a pledge through the icon on the website that they did not perform Hajj earlier and that they will remain in mandatory home quarantine for 14 days before Hajj as well as 14 days after Hajj. They need to be in contact with the Ministry of Health on a daily basis through mobile applications in line with the protocols approved by the ministry.
The ministry indicated that submitting the application through the electronic path will be treated as an initial submission, and final registration for the Hajj will be considered only after the issuance of the final approval in the path after ensuring that the applicant has met all the health and regulatory standards. The result of the application will be sent to applicants through a text message on mobile phone numbers mentioned in the application.
The ministry also stated that the application will be deemed canceled in an event of non-compliance with health or regulatory requirements. The ministry has the right to cancel the approval at any time if it finds any discrepancies in the provided information.
JEDDAH — Fines amounting to SR10,000 will be slapped on those who enter the holy sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat without a Hajj permit, Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned from well-informed sources.
The penalty will be doubled with the repetition of the violation, the sources said while adding that this is part of the punitive measures against violators of preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic during the upcoming Hajj, which is due in the end of July and early August.
A smart card, which consists of all the details with regard to the operation and management of Hajj trip, will be issued to each pilgrim. A bag, containing prayer rug, sanitizers, masks and other necessary preventive tools, will be supplied to pilgrims. They will also be provided with packets of Zamzam at every point of the pilgrimage.
The sources unveiled more details about the COVID-19 related regulations for the Hajj. According to the regulations, specific sterilized tracks will be arranged for the pilgrims in mataf (circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba) and masa (area for the ritual of sai between Safa and Marwah) with a distance of two meters between pilgrims.
There will be separate accommodation for each pilgrim in a space of not less than nine meters in Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat. The Mina residential towers have also been designated for the pilgrims’ accommodation.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced that the process of sorting out applications submitted electronically by domestic pilgrims who belonged to 160 nationalities for this year’s Hajj pilgrimage has been completed. The process of selection was carried out in accordance with accurate health and organizational standards with a foolproof mechanism to ensure the safety of the guests of God.
The ministry had earlier set a five-day period for the registration of expatriates who wish to perform Hajj this year through its website with the deadline for registration set for Friday, July 10.
Sound health condition is the main determinant for allowing performance of Hajj this year. Only those expatriates between the ages of 20 and 50 who are not suffering from any chronic diseases were entitled to apply for the pilgrimage.
Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only a limited number of 10,000 domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj this year in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 2.5 million foreign and domestic pilgrims had performed Hajj last year. Out of the total of 10,000 pilgrims, 70 percent will be foreigners residing in the Kingdom while the remaining 30 percent are Saudis.
Among Saudis, only health practitioners and security personnel who have recovered from coronavirus will be allowed to perform Hajj and they are being picked from the database of the recovered persons who have fulfilled the health criteria to perform the Hajj rituals.
This is in recognition of their commendable role in taking care of the health of various segments of the society in all phases of the fight against the pandemic, according to the ministry sources
Saudi Arabia: Requests from 160 nationalities have been screened to select Hajj pilgrims
RIYADH: Requests from people of 160 nationalities in the Kingdom have been screened electronically to select who will perform Hajj this year, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Sunday.
The requests were sorted in accordance with high standards that will ensure the safety and good health of pilgrims.
The deadline for all applications was July 10 and the main criterion for selection is good health.
Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom and the remaining 30 percent will be Saudi citizens.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said that anyone found to enter the sites of Hajj (Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat) without a permit from Dhul Qadah 28 till the end of Dhu Al-Hijjah 12 will be issued with a fine of SR10,000.
The fine will be doubled if the offence is repeated. It added that security personnel will be posted on roads leading to the holy sites to ensure that anyone who breaks the law will be stopped and fined.
Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs appoints female workers in Medina mosques
They will supervise and manage female departments
Dubai: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs has appointed female workers in Medina mosques to serve in the female sections.
The female workers’ duties will include supervising or managing in female’s departments of mosques. The Ministry said it will still be supervising the situation and supporting the workers wherever possible to help perform their duties.
They will also help control or maintain prayers with measures. Currently, this is related to social distancing and preventing measures, in addition to developing women’s advocacy and other activities related to the section of the mosque.
However, this is not new or major change as the same have been seen similar setup in Mecca and Madinah. But it will now be more normal to help and maintain the safety of everyone.
2,565 new corona cases found in Saudi Arabia, Makkah tops the list
Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — The declining trend in the daily Saudi coronavirus infections continued on Saturday with the health ministry saying 2,565 cases were detected in the last 24 hours. It raised the total number of confirmed infections in the Kingdom to 248,416, the ministry said.
Makkah reported the highest number of new infections, with 224 cases. It was followed by 212 infections in Riyadh, 189 in Jeddah, 182 in Hufof, 118 in Mobarraz, 109 in Khamis Mushayt and 106 in Hafr Al-Batin. There were 42 cases in Madinah. The rest of the cases were detected in different cities and governorates across the country.
Forty people died due to complications caused by COVID-19. This brings the total number of virus-related deaths in Saudi Arabia to 2,447, the ministry said.
The total number of recoveries in the country is now 194,218, out of which 3,057 were confirmed on Saturday.
Saudi Arabia conducts more than 65,000 coronavirus tests per day as part of its efforts to contain the outbreak and limit the spread of the COVID-19, the ministry said on Friday.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Kingdom had been conducting about 1,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests every day.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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