FILE PHOTO: Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand mosque at the end of their Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia August 13, 2019. Picture taken August 13, 2019. REUTERSUmit Bektas
RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is urging Muslims to wait before making plans to attend the annual haj pilgrimage until there is more clarity about the deadly coronavirus pandemic, the kingdom’s minister for haj and umrah said on Tuesday.
Some 2.5 million pilgrims usually flock to the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina each year for the week-long ritual, which is a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim and a major source of income for the kingdom.