Saudi Arabia Prepares for Third Phase of Umrah Pilgrimage
2020-10-20 | Since 1 Month
Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten said that the Kingdom welcomes all Muslims coming from abroad to perform the Umrah as authorities kick off the third phase of the resumption of the pilgrimage amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Arabia has been gradually allowing Umrah pilgrims to resume the rituals, introducing a three-phase plan that adheres to health protocols to ensure their safety throughout their holy journey.
The Kingdom has allowed citizens and residents to start performing Umrah as of Oct.4 at 30 percent capacity, or 6,000 pilgrims a day. It will open for Muslims from abroad starting Nov. 1. The second phase kicked off on Sunday. No virus cases have been reported among the pilgrims.
Benten said that opening the Umrah to foreigners will be the world’s largest event amid the pandemic.
He added that a mobile phone app, “Eatmarna”, will be dedicated to the pilgrims coming from abroad. Each arrival will be tested for the coronavirus and then they will be transported in batches to the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah. They will have separate lanes to follow and dedicated locations where they will perform the rituals.
Companies that fly in the Umrah pilgrims from their own countries will be held responsible for ensuring that they implement all health precautions, said Benten.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah is coordinating its efforts with the Health Ministry in implementing the third phase of the Umrah.
Benten said the Eatmarna and Tawakkalna apps have greatly helped in monitoring the pilgrims and ensuring their safety within Saudi territories.
He said authorities are closely monitoring the pilgrims before their arrival at the Grand Mosque and they will be followed up even after they complete the Umrah. The minister also hailed the awareness of the pilgrims themselves and their great adherence to the health guidelines, which helped avoid any outbreak.
Head of the Presidency for the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais said that no virus cases have been reported among the pilgrims.
Saudi Arabia has received praise from home and abroad for its successful organization and health precautions, he added.