Saudi authorities have tightened health and security measures at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca as more worshippers are given access to the site.
Nineteen doors of the place are designated for worshippers while 13 others are kept for the Umrah pilgrims, head of the Grand Mosque Doors Directorate Fahd Al Jaid said.
“The doors are secured by 150 staffers who ensure compliance with instructions including a ban on the entry of bags, food and sharp tools, thus helping keep the Holy Mosque clean for worshipping. Everyone is instructed to apply precautionary measures,” he told the Saudi news agency SPA.
Last month, Saudi Arabia started a gradual plan for resumption of the Umrah amid stringent precautions against COVID-19 after suspension of around seven months due to the pandemic.
On October 4, Saudi Arabia set into motion the first phase of the plan, allowing 6,000 Umrah pilgrims from inside the kingdom per day.
The second went into effect on October 18, allowing about 40,000 worshippers and 10,000 pilgrims a day into the Grand Mosque.
As many as 20,000 Umrah pilgrims and 60,000 worshipers per day are allowed to perform prayers at the mosque, according to the current third phase
The first batches of Umrah pilgrims from outside the kingdom began arriving Sunday and performed the ritual on Wednesday after three days of mandatory health self-isolation.
SOURCE : GULF NEWS
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