The Ministry for Hajj and Umrah has already completed the registration of 60,000 pilgrims, including Saudi citizens and residents. Applicants were selected from the age group of 18-65, who already received the COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with the health and safety protocol of the pilgrimage, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Deputy Minister of Hajj, Dr. Abdulfattah bin Suleiman Mashat, said the awareness campaign focuses on educating the pilgrims about the precautionary instructions that must be adhered to before entering Makkah to ensure a healthy environment for performing the rituals of Hajj during this unprecedented situation.
He affirmed that the decision to limit the number of pilgrims comes out of the leadership's constant concern for the health, safety, and security and of pilgrims. As part of the health and safety protocol, social distancing among, pilgrims and others [officials and volunteers] is strictly enforced throughout the entire Hajj journey, and the final plan for transportation will be drawn up later through the competent security authorities, the minister added.
The ministry's deployment of electronic systems for various Hajj procedures, including a Hajj smart card "Shayir" helps control the entry of pilgrims to camps in the holy sites and various facilities and grouping them to the Jamarat facility, he pointed out.
The official explained that the campaign is educating the pilgrims about the benefits of the unified card for all pilgrims, which contains their personal, medical and residential information. This information contributes to better coordination of the Hajj procedures, starting with issuing the Hajj permit and managing the entry of pilgrims to Makkah and the holy sites, and performance of Hajj rituals. It also helps guiding and organising the pilgrims in the camps of the holy sites, the mount of Arafat, the stoning of the Jamarat, the Ifadah Tawaf, along with other rituals.