Second phase of Umrah return set to begin on Sunday

The second phase of Umrah will resume on Sunday with 15,000 pilgrims allowed to perform rituals and 40,000 worshippers offering daily obligatory prayers in the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (File/SPA)
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Updated 14 October 2020

Second phase of Umrah return set to begin on Sunday

  • The first stage allowed Umrah for Saudis and expats residing in the Kingdom
  • The decision to allow foreign pilgrims to perform the pilgrimage will be taken after reviewing the pandemic situation

JEDDAH: The second phase of Umrah will resume on Sunday with 15,000 pilgrims allowed to perform rituals and 40,000 worshippers offering daily obligatory prayers in the Grand Mosque in Makkah.
The operations at the Grand Mosque will be held amid strict social distancing measures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
Umrah pilgrimages were suspended on March 1 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but last month the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah agreed to a phased return of Umrah operations starting on Oct. 4.
The first stage allowed Umrah for Saudis and expats residing in the Kingdom, before expanding to greater capacity and ultimately allowing pilgrims from outside of Saudi Arabia.
However, the decision to allow foreign pilgrims will be taken after reviewing the pandemic situation and the number of cases around the world.
The ministry has launched a smartphone app called Eatmarna to issue Umrah permits to prospective pilgrims. Users must ensure they are registered with the Ministry of Health’s Tawakkalna app to allow authorities to check on their health status and eligibility to perform Umrah rituals.
A new set of permits was added for pilgrims in the app on Tuesday.
“The new permits include one for prayers in the Grand Mosque, one for prayers in the Prophet’s Sacred Chamber in the Prophet’s Mosque, and one for greeting the Prophet,” a ministry official said.


Saudi health ministry announces 385 new COVID-19 cases

Updated 20 October 2020

Saudi health ministry announces 385 new COVID-19 cases

  • The number of people who contracted the disease in the Kingdom is now 342,968

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has confirmed 385 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths over the last 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health said the new confirmed cases increase the number of people who contracted the disease in the Kingdom to 342,968. 

According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in Madinah with 59, followed by 31 in Yanbu, 27 in Makkah, and 23 in Riyadh. 

 The ministry also announced that 375 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 329,270.

The recent deaths raise the total number of fatalities in the Kingdom to 5,217.