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Muslim faithfuls observe social distancing during Hajj prayers

On Wednesday, the Muslim faithful observed an important Hajj first ritual with over 1,000 pilgrims observing the social distancing rule following the novel coronavirus fear.

Typically, the Hajj festival features a considerable crowd of Muslims thronged around the holiest shrine found in Mecca.  This year was, however, different as worshippers had to follow a particular pattern marked on the ground while surrounding the Kaaba.

The mask-wearing pilgrims observed distance while walking in calculated steps.

A group rite of passage the Tawaf Al-Qudumin the holy city of Mecca, was incomparable as thousands of Muslims watching the celebrations on their television had ever experienced.

Traditionally, over two million people go to Mecca for the Hajj celebrations, which is considered one of the five pillars of Islam.

Following the covid-19 pandemic this year, international pilgrims couldn’t attend the procession.

Those in attendance consisted of Saudi nationals and foreign residents of Saudi Arabia between ages 20 to 50.

While speaking to CNN, Saudi Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Assiri said they’re applying a safety bubbles environment. He added that this would give each pilgrim a safe and free environment around him or her.

In this photo released by the Saudi Media Ministry, security personnel standby as limited numbers of pilgrims arrive keeping social distancing to limit exposure and the potential transmission of the coronavirus, at the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, July 29, 2020. The hajj, which started on Wednesday, is intended to bring about greater humility and unity among Muslims. (Saudi Media Ministry via AP)

At the large mosque, prayer mats with gaps in between separated worshippers. Prior to the rituals, thorough and rigorous health and quarantine screening took place.

When it came to Hajj rituals that involved pilgrims remaining at one place, authorities ensured they prepared the area in a way that observes social distancing.

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