Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque to be cleaned daily with 60,000 litres of sanitiser during Ramadan

Iftar meals and prayer areas for people with disabilities will also be provided

The Grand Mosque in Makkah will be sterilised 10 times a day using 60,000 litres of sanitising material as 30 thermal cameras scan for signs of fever among the limited numbers of visitors to keep everyone safe from Covid-19 during Ramadan, Saudi Arabia announced.

Since Umrah pilgrimages resumed in October after seven months, pilgrims had to register for limited daily slots through a government app.

On Sunday, Grand Mosque authorities announced the heightened measures for the holy month.

Social distancing and wearing masks will be mandatory for all visitors, the authorities said.

Special prayer areas for people with disabilities will be made available and ready-made iftar meals will be served to worshippers visiting the mosque for evening prayer.

Saudi Arabia reported 531 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths on Sunday, bringing the total to 388,325 cases and 6,650 mortalities.

More than 4 million vaccine doses have so far been administered to Saudi residents and citizens, the health ministry said.

Saudi authorities on Sunday said that 60 to 70 per cent of Covid-19 cases resulted from at-home gatherings as they noted a rise in severe and overall cases.

Last week, the kingdom announced general Ramadan measures, including a ban on buffet dinners and Ramadan tents.

The kingdom has also resumed the distribution of holy Zamzam water, which is widely consumed during the annual pilgrimage of Hajj, the smaller Umrah pilgrimage and during Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia's Agency for Mosque Affairs said it would continue inspections across the kingdom's mosques to ensure safety.

More than 167,000 tours have so far been completed, state media reported.

Worshippers at mosques nationwide are required to wear face masks, observe social-distancing rules and bring their own prayer mats.

Updated: March 29, 2021 09:34 AM

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