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Downsized hajj begins amid Covid pandemic

Jul 30, 2020 07:44 IST

Clad in white robes and wearing mask, Muslim pilgrims began the hajj on Wednesday. Devotees began circling the Islam's holiest site along socially distanced paths in the smallest pilgrimage in modern history amid the coronavirus outbreak. The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world's largest religious gatherings. But only up to 10,000 people already residing in Saudi Arabia will participate in this year's ritual, compared with 2019's gathering of some 2.5 million from around the world.