Makkah’s ‘Mataf’ reopens for non-Umrah worshippers

A photograph taken on March 5, 2020 shows the white-tiled area surrounding the Kaaba, inside Mecca's Grand Mosque. (File/AFP)
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Updated 07 March 2020

Makkah’s ‘Mataf’ reopens for non-Umrah worshippers

  • The decision follows a sterilization operation at the Grand Mosque

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Mataf - area of circulation around Makkah’s Kaaba - reopened for non-Umrah worshippers on Saturday, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The General President of the Grand Mosque and Prophet's Mosque Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdurrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais stressed the need to adhere to the precautionary procedures and cooperation with all the workers in the Grand Mosque to serve its visitors.
The decision follows a sterilization operation at the Grand Mosque.
Muslims performed Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah for the first time since restrictions aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus were announced by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

Saudi Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah. (AP)
Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health minister promises to procure tested vaccine

  • COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on Monday said the Kingdom will procure vaccine for the novel coronavirus once it is confirmed to be safe and effective.

He said research on the vaccine is underway in a number of countries and the Saudi health authorities are following the developments.
The number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continues to decline in the Kingdom with the recovery rate from the illness rising to 96 percent. The minister attributed the decline on the “commitment to health precautions.”
“I also thank my fellow health practitioners for their wonderful efforts,” Al-Rabiah said.
Commenting on the second and stronger wave of COVID-19 in some countries, he said it was due to a lack of “commitment to social distancing” and failure to wear masks and taking other precautions.
He ruled out any leniency on part of the government in its fight against the virus. The minister said it is necessary to abide by precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay.


• Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday.

• With 16 new fatalities, the virus-related death toll has risen to 5,201.

“We (all) are in one boat, and the failure of some affects everyone, so we must work together” to check the spread of the virus.
He also advised people who show COVID-19 symptoms to visit Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
“Appointments can be made through the ministry’s Sehaty app, and anyone who has any questions or wants to consult a doctor can call 937,” the minister said.
Saudi Arabia recorded 381 new infections on Monday. The total number of COVID-19 cases has reached 348,583 since the beginning of the outbreak in the Kingdom.
The Health Ministry said 16 more people died due to complications caused by the virus raising the death toll to 5,201. The ministry also reported 357 new recoveries. The total number of recovered cases has now increased to 328,895.