JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that more than 125,000 people had performed Umrah in the first phase of its return, confirming that no infections had been recorded among pilgrims so far.
“The first phase was completed successfully by last Saturday, where we received more than 125,000 pilgrims. The first phase only focused on Umrah, no prayers,” said Dr. Amr Al-Maddah, undersecretary at the Ministry for Hajj and Umrah, adding that the Eatmarna app had been downloaded more than 2.5 million times so far.
In an interview with Al-Ekhbariya, he said the Grand Mosque had received 40,000 worshippers and 15,000 pilgrims in the second phase of Umrah.
Al-Maddah emphasized that there was no permit for Umrah and visits except through the app and that people should be wary of fake apps and platforms that set out to deceive pilgrims.
There are 531 companies and Umrah institutions preparing to receive pilgrims in the third phase to perform Umrah and pray at the Grand Mosque.
The ministry launched the app to help facilitate Umrah for those wishing to visit the Kingdom’s holy mosques amid the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, while maintaining strict health measures throughout the rituals.
People with special needs
The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has allocated special entrances and a space for prayers on the Grand Mosque’s first floors for people with disabilities.
The administration has marked the allocated prayer space with tape to reserve it for people with special needs.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health announced 385 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, meaning 342,968 people have now contracted the disease.
Of the new cases, 41 percent are female, 10 percent are children, 4 percent are elderly and 86 percent are adults.
There are 8,481 active cases that are still receiving medical care and 840 of these are in critical condition.
The country recorded 375 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 329,270.
According to the ministry, Madinah recorded the highest number of cases with 59,
Makkah reported 27, and Riyadh had 23.
There were a further 16 deaths reported on Tuesday, bringing the Kingdom’s death toll to 5,217.
Saudi Arabia has conducted more than 7.45 million polymerase chain reaction tests so far, with 54,477 carried out in the last 24 hours.
The ministry’s Tetamman clinics in Hafar Al-Batin have so far provided services to 16,496 people through four clinics distributed across several health facilities.
In Riyadh, 229,501 people have visited 48 Tetamman clinics in the region. The Eastern Province recorded 146,955 visits across 16 clinics.
Tetamman clinics have been allocated by the ministry to serve anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms, including a high temperature, accompanied by shortness of breath or coughing. The clinics are available to everyone, including Saudis, expats and violators of the residency system.