Makkah: The Hajj pilgrimage has begun in Saudi Arabia will Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Pilgrims began arriving in Minah early in the morning. Pilgrims will head to Arafat after Fajr prayers on Zilhaj 9.
Pilgrims were quarantined in the Muslim holy city of Makkah yesterday ahead of the downsized hajj as Saudi authorities strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak during the pilgrimage.
Up to 10,000 people already residing in the kingdom will participate in the annual ritual starting today, according to hajj officials.
Hajj authorities have cordoned the Kaaba this year, saying pilgrims will not be allowed to touch it, to limit the chances of infection.
They also reported setting up multiple health facilities, mobile clinics and ambulances to cater to the pilgrims, who will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing.
Saudi authorities initially said only around 1,000 pilgrims residing in the kingdom would be permitted for the hajj but local media reports say as many as 10,000 will be allowed to take part.
Hajj ministry said non-Saudi residents of the kingdom from around 160 countries competed in the online selection process.