A Muslim pilgrim films pigeons outside the the Grand Mosque in the Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca, on July 22, 2021. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: There is no need to examine or isolate Muslim pilgrims returning from Hajj unless they display symptoms of COVID-19 infection, a senior Saudi health official has said.

A downsized annual Muslim pilgrimage ended on Thursday in Saudi Arabia that said no case of COVID-19 or other epidemics was discovered during the rituals held amid strict health measures.

“As all pilgrims and workers engaged in Hajj received the jabs against COVID-19, then there is need for examination or isolation unless symptoms appear in the two weeks that follow Hajj,” Saudi undersecretary of the Health Ministry Abdullah Assiri said on Twitter.

He was commenting on queries if the returning pilgrims must be isolated before allowed to get reunited with families.

Around 60,000 Saudi and foreign Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia representing 150 countries have been picked to perform this year’s Hajj.

Eligible pilgrims were required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, free of chronic diseases and aged between 18 to 65 years.

Overseas pilgrims were excluded from attending Hajj for the second year in a row due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Hajj, one of Islam’s five pillars, is a must for all Muslims to perform at least once in a lifetime if they can financially and physically afford it.