Riyadh, Aug 2 (EFE) .- The last pilgrims of the hundreds of lucky people who this year were able to make the pilgrimage to Mecca or “hach” leave the holy city of Nusulman this Sunday and will have to undergo quarantine at their homes as a precaution before a possible contagion of the Covid-19.
Due to the global pandemic, this year the number of pilgrims was notably reduced, from more than two million faithful coming from all over the world in 2019 to approximately a thousand people and only residents in Saudi Arabia (30% Saudis and a 70% of other nationalities).
This Sunday the pilgrims concluded the rituals that began on Wednesday and ended on Friday with the feast of Aid al Adha or Sacrifice and the throwing of small stones against columns that symbolize the temptations of the devil.
Since Friday, the faithful have repeated some of the rituals in the various holy places in Mecca and its surroundings, and they have said goodbye seven times around the “Kaaba”, a cube in which a black stone that the Muslims is guarded is guarded. They consider it a piece of paradise.
The Kaaba is located in the courtyard of the Great Mosque of Mecca, where pilgrims began the hach by making another seven turns, and whose facilities have been cleaned and sterilized ten times a day as a preventive measure against the coronavirus.
According to local authorities, more than 3,500 workers have carried out the cleaning tasks and 54,000 liters of disinfectant have been used daily, as well as 95 cleaning machines and instruments.
Pilgrims will undergo a medical check-up before leaving Mecca and then have to isolate themselves in their homes in Saudi Arabia for compulsory quarantine.
Before the ritual, they also had to remain isolated in hotels in Mecca and guarded by the authorities to prevent any outbreak of coronavirus among the participants, the exact number of which has not yet been officially released.
(c) EFE Agency