No fewer than 24,000 pilgrims have performed Umrah since the Grand Mosque in Makkah reopened its doors to worshippers on Sunday, four days ago, with no reported cases of the coronavirus disease.
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques stated this Wednesday while addressing the daily Ministry of Health briefing, adding that strict health and safety measures had been introduced to protect pilgrims and help stop the spread of the virus.
Also, the authorities have installed automated robot sanitizer in Masjid Al Haram, Makkah which sanitizes every area of the Masjid Al Haram, Makkah regularly.
According to the presidency spokesperson, Hani Haider., “Our precautionary measures plan for Umrah with COVID-19 is based on protection, sanitization, crowd management, and raising awareness.”
“We have prepared four isolation sites for pilgrims with suspicious symptoms. However, no suspected COVID-19 case has yet been reported.”
In order to ensure social distancing, the presidency has also designated special pathways for elderly and disabled people to help them safely perform Umrah rituals.
Haider pointed out that efforts were being concentrated on the sanitization of the Grand Mosque and its arenas with 4,000 workers doing an average 10 cleans a day. More than 1,800 liters of eco-friendly disinfectants and sanitizers were also being used to clean toilets six times each day.
Air-conditioning systems and filters were receiving nine daily cleans using ultraviolet sanitizing technology, and more than 200 hand-sanitizing devices had been distributed around the Grand Mosque.
A ban on food and drinks at the Grand Mosque remained in place but the presidency was looking to employ the latest technology to redistribute Zamzam water containers again while maintaining precautionary measures and preventing contact between pilgrims, added Haider.
Meanwhile, the presidency has been distributing tens of thousands of Zamzam bottles among pilgrims on a daily basis and its dedicated 1966 hotline was available around the clock to answer calls from worshippers.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Ministry of Health announced on Wednesday 468 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the Kingdom to 337,711. There were currently 9,556 active cases, 913 of which were receiving medical care.
Madinah recorded the highest number of newly confirmed cases at 71, with Makkah reporting 53, Yanbu 31, and Al-Hofuf 29.
In addition, 596 patients had recovered from COVID-19, raising the total number of recoveries to 323,208. The death toll reached 4,947 with 24 new deaths reported.