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Saudi receives five million pilgrims since resuming Umrah, no Covid-19 cases detected

Saudi receives five million pilgrims since resuming Umrah, no Covid-19 cases detected

The kingdom resumed Umrah in a phased manner in October

Saudi Arabia has received five million pilgrims and worshippers at the Grand Mosque since the resumption of Umrah, a senior official has said.

Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Mohammed Saleh Benten also confirmed that no case of Covid-19 has been recorded among Umrah performers and worshippers so far, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

His remarks came during a meeting with Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah, on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Prince Khaled was also briefed on the Hajj ministry’s activities and development plans, including the technical programmes aimed at serving pilgrims, SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia had initially suspended Umrah in March to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The kingdom announced in September that Umrah would resume in a phased manner.

It restarted the pilgrimage on October 4, with citizens and expatriates in the kingdom allowed to perform Umrah at 30 per cent of the capacity – equating to 6,000 Umrah performers per day.

As part of the second phase, which started on October 18, the number of pilgrims allowed to perform Umrah increased to 15,000 per day.

The third stage, which began on November 1, permitted pilgrims from outside the kingdom to also perform Umrah and visit the Holy Mosques at 100 per cent capacity – 20,000 pilgrims per day and 60,000 worshippers a day.

Read: Saudi to resume Umrah and visits to the Grand Mosque in phases

Earlier this week, the kingdom halted all international flights and closed its borders for a week starting Monday, December 21 due to the new virus strain. The closure could extend for another week, officials said.

Read: Saudi suspends all international flights, closes land and sea ports over new virus strain

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