Cairo: Around 60,000 Saudi and expatriate Muslims representing 150 countries have been selected to perform this year’s curtailed Hajj, Saudi authorities have disclosed.
Last month, Saudi Arabia said that due to the continuation of COVID-19 and its variants, performing this year’s Hajj will be confined to 60,000 pilgrims from Saudis and Muslim foreign residents in the kingdom.
Eligible pilgrims must be vaccinated against COVID-19, free of chronic diseases and aged between 18 to 65 years.
The Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has said it has issued the Hajj permits for 60,000 pilgrims who have met health and regulatory conditions.
They were selected from among a total of 558,270 Muslims who had applied online for attending this year’s Hajj, Deputy Minister of Hajj Abdulfattah Al Mashat was quoted by Okaz newspaper as saying.
Priority was given to those who had not previously performed Hajj, according to the official.
The ministry called on the pilgrims for whom Hajj permits have been issued to head to the nearest inoculation centre to receive the second dose of vaccination against COVID-19 without an advance appointment.
This year’s Haj will commence on the eighth of the Islamic month of Dhu Al Hijjah corresponding to July 18.
Last year’s Hajj was performed by a limited number of Saudis and foreign Muslims residing in Saudi Arabia also to contain the COVID-19
More than 2 million Muslims usually perform Hajj, which is one of Islam’s five pillars.