Saudi Arabia Restarts Prayers In Islam's Holiest Site
Muhammad Irfan 1 day ago Mon 19th October 2020 | 12:10 AM
Mecca, Saudi Arabia, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Oct, 2020 ) :Saudi Arabia opened Sunday islam's holiest site for prayers for the first time in seven months, and expanded the umrah pilgrimage to accommodate 15,000 worshippers as it relaxed coronavirus curbs.
"Citizens and residents have performed Salat Al-Fajr (dawn prayers) at the Grand Mosque today as (authorities) start implementing the second phase of the gradual resumption of umrah," the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia allowed up to 6,000 citizens and residents per day to perform the umrah -- a Muslim pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time -- after it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the second stage that began Sunday, the number of umrah pilgrims was increased to 15,000 per day.
A maximum of 40,000 people -- including umrah pilgrims -- will now be allowed to perform daily prayers at the mosque.
A raft of precautions have been adopted, according to state media.
The revered Black Stone in the Kaaba -- which is customary but not mandatory to touch during the pilgrimage -- will be out of reach.
Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 342,000 cases of Covid-19 and 5,185 deaths since the pandemic began.