AIRLINK 75.30 Increased By ▲ 1.60 (2.17%)
BOP 4.94 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.82%)
CNERGY 4.39 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-2.88%)
DFML 41.18 Decreased By ▼ -3.70 (-8.24%)
DGKC 83.31 Decreased By ▼ -2.19 (-2.56%)
FCCL 21.65 Increased By ▲ 0.25 (1.17%)
FFBL 32.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.51 (-1.57%)
FFL 9.42 Decreased By ▼ -0.17 (-1.77%)
GGL 10.08 Decreased By ▼ -0.19 (-1.85%)
HASCOL 6.82 Decreased By ▼ -0.31 (-4.35%)
HBL 114.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.70 (-0.61%)
HUBC 139.10 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
HUMNL 12.00 Decreased By ▼ -0.42 (-3.38%)
KEL 4.91 Decreased By ▼ -0.12 (-2.39%)
KOSM 4.36 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-2.02%)
MLCF 37.51 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-0.24%)
OGDC 132.85 Decreased By ▼ -3.95 (-2.89%)
PAEL 24.85 Decreased By ▼ -0.54 (-2.13%)
PIBTL 6.60 Decreased By ▼ -0.09 (-1.35%)
PPL 117.80 Decreased By ▼ -3.20 (-2.64%)
PRL 26.06 Decreased By ▼ -0.53 (-1.99%)
PTC 13.72 Decreased By ▼ -0.38 (-2.7%)
SEARL 57.25 Decreased By ▼ -0.05 (-0.09%)
SNGP 66.50 Decreased By ▼ -1.50 (-2.21%)
SSGC 10.24 Decreased By ▼ -0.18 (-1.73%)
TELE 8.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.24 (-2.84%)
TPLP 10.70 Decreased By ▼ -0.28 (-2.55%)
TRG 62.40 Decreased By ▼ -0.94 (-1.48%)
UNITY 27.04 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.04%)
WTL 1.35 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-2.17%)
BR100 7,846 Decreased By -95 (-1.2%)
BR30 25,256 Decreased By -391.8 (-1.53%)
KSE100 74,836 Decreased By -681.2 (-0.9%)
KSE30 24,004 Decreased By -273.3 (-1.13%)

MAKKAH: The biggest hajj pilgrimage since the Covid pandemic began kicked off Wednesday, with hundreds of thousands of mostly maskless worshippers expected to circle Islam’s holiest site in Saudi Arabia’s Makkah.

One million fully vaccinated Muslims, including 850,000 from abroad, are allowed at this year’s hajj, a major break from two years of drastically curtailed numbers due to the pandemic.

At Makkah’s Grand Mosque, pilgrims performed the “tawaf”, the circumambulation of the holy Kaaba, the large cubic structure draped in golden-embroidered black cloth that Muslims around the world turn towards to pray.

Authorities said last month that masks would be required at the site, but that has been largely ignored so far this week. Many pilgrims held umbrellas to block the hot sun as the temperature climbed to 42 degrees Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

The Saudi health ministry has prepared 23 hospitals and 147 health centres in Mecca and Madina to accommodate pilgrims, state media reported this week.

That includes allocating more than 1,000 beds for patients requiring intensive care and more than 200 specifically for heatstroke patients, while dispatching more than 25,000 health workers to respond to cases as they arise.

The hajj poses a considerable security challenge and has seen several disasters over the years, including a 2015 stampede that killed up to 2,300 people. No incidents had been reported as of Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s all going well so far. I have moved around a lot and saw rules are being respected,” said Faten Abdel Moneim, a 65-year-old Egyptian mother of four.

“I hope it stays this way.”

This year’s hajj is larger than the pared-down versions staged in 2020 and 2021 but still smaller than in normal times.

Comments

Comments are closed.