Saudi Arabia: Zero COVID-19 cases among Umrah performers

Dubai: Saudi Arabia has announced no case of coronavirus has been detected among Umrah performers and worshipers so far, Saudi Press Agency reported, quoting Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten.

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Saudi Arabia has so far received 5 million pilgrims and worshippers at Mecca’s Grand Mosque since the resumption of Umrah in October.

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Phased manner

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The Kingdom had initially suspended Umrah pilgrimage in March in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, but announced in September that it would resume Umrah in a phased manner and restarted the pilgrimage from October with only domestic pilgrims of Saudi Arabia (30 per cent capacity or 6000 Umrah pilgrims per day).

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The 2nd phase started on October 18, where the number of pilgrims increased to 15,000 per day. In the 3rd phase, which began on November 1st, permitted pilgrims from outside the Kingdom to perform Umrah and visit the Holy Mosques at 100 percent capacity, or 20,000 pilgrims per day and 60,000 worshippers per day.

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Saudi Arabia halted all international flights and closed its borders for a week starting 21 December due to new virus strain. The closure could extend for another week as per the official announcement.

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