Makkah: Groups of pilgrims flocked to the Grand Mosque on Sunday while adhering to precautionary measures against COVID-19 to perform the Islamic rituals of Hajj.
Pilgrims on this day perform Tawaf before preparing to head to Mina, situated east of Makkah, to spend the rest of the day resting and sleeping in preparation for their journey to Mount Arafa for prayer in what is considered the most important pillar of the pilgrimage process.
Since Saturday, groups of pilgrims have been performing the Tawaf, circling the Kaaba.
“46,000 pilgrims have arrived in Mina,” Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Abdelfattah bin Suleiman Mashat told AFP on Sunday morning.
“The number of women participating in the Hajj this year exceeds 40 percent,” he added.
Mina sits in a narrow valley surrounded by rocky mountains, and is transformed each year into a vast encampment for pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia has put in place a number of protocols to ensure safety for pilgrims, aside from continuous cleansing and sterilization operations throughout the Grand Mosque.
Thermal cameras have been placed at entrances of the Grand Mosque to monitor the temperature of those entering the area.
Translation service in 10 different languages have also been put in place for those inside the Grand Mosque. (SPA)