First stage of resumed services allow pilgrims three hours to perform Umrah

First stage of resumed services allow pilgrims three hours to perform Umrah
The first stage will allow Umrah for Saudis and expats residing in KSA, before expanding to a bigger capacity in the next stages to allow pilgrims from outside. (File photo)
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Updated 25 September 2020

First stage of resumed services allow pilgrims three hours to perform Umrah

First stage of resumed services allow pilgrims three hours to perform Umrah
  • Gradual restoration might help mitigate financial damage, says expert

MAKKAH: Each pilgrim will be given three hours to perform Umrah, starting and ending in the triage areas around Makkah, during the first stage of the resumption of Umrah services, according to Arab News sources.
The first stage is scheduled to start on Oct. 4 and will be operated through the I’tamarna app.
The plan is to have triage areas around the holy city, allowing 6,000 pilgrims to perform Umrah each day at six different times, with each group of 1,000 pilgrims being given three hours.
Ahmed Bajaiffer, an investor in Umrah companies, said that the Saudi government had decided to resume Umrah services after their suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic “as it believes that Muslims should not stop performing pilgrimage, while respecting the precautionary measures.”
The first stage will allow Umrah for Saudis and expats residing in the Kingdom, before expanding to a bigger capacity in the next stages to allow pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia.

FASTFACTS

• The first phase will include allowing citizens and expatriates from within the Kingdom to perform Umrah at a capacity of 30% from Oct. 4, the equivalent of 6,000 pilgrims per day. 

• The second will increase the capacity of the Grand Mosque to 75%, which would include 15,000 pilgrims and 40,000 worshippers a day from Oct. 18.

• In the third phase, pilgrims from abroad would be allowed to perform Umrah from Nov. 1 with a capacity of 20,000 pilgrims and 60,000 worshippers per day.

Bajaiffer said that a forum held recently discussed a 30 percent capacity in the first stage. “Performance will be assessed by relevant authorities before allowing a further expansion to a 75 percent capacity in the second phase, and full capacity in the third phase to receive pilgrims from outside the Kingdom.”
Ahmed Saleh Halabi, a journalist and writer specializing in Hajj and Umrah services, said the decision to restore Umrah stresses the Saudi leadership’s concern to help people perform Umrah safely and securely, in line with the precautionary measures.
“The gradual restoration of Umrah might help mitigate the financial damage to the Umrah companies and institutions,” he told Arab News.
Halabi quoted the minister of Hajj and Umrah saying “there are more than 30 local and international companies that can handle the Umrah services provided for pilgrims,” and he hoped that this will not cause new financial losses to the companies providing Umrah services.


Saudi Arabia confirms 6 COVID-19 deaths, 170 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 6 COVID-19 deaths, 170 new cases
Updated 18 January 2021

Saudi Arabia confirms 6 COVID-19 deaths, 170 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 6 COVID-19 deaths, 170 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 161 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • The highest number of cases were recorded in Riyadh with 67

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded six new COVID-19 related deaths on Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 6,329.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 170 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 365,099 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the total number of cases, 1,922 remain active and 317 in critical condition.

According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 67, followed by Makkah with 38, the Eastern Province with 25, Madinah recorded 22 and Hail confirmed five cases.
The ministry also announced that 161 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 356,848.
The ministry renewed its call on the public to adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 95 million people globally and the death toll has exceeded 2 million.