Makkah’s Grand Mosque will see the return of Umrah pilgrims tomorrow, October 4, for the first time since the pilgrimage was temporarily suspended due to the coronavirus, with the exception of Hajj.
Information from Saudi Arabia said that pilgrims will gather at allocated sites in Makkah including Ajyad, Al-Shasha, Al-Gazzah and Al-Zahir, and will be transported to the mosque by special busses.
It said that the Umrah pilgrims will be accompanied by a health care professional, adding that the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques is already in the mood to receive pilgrims and has various preventative measures in place to ensure their safety.
According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), at least 1,000 employees have been enlisted to monitor Umrah rituals at the Grand Mosque and it is cleaned 10 times a day.
The mosque’s toilets are cleaned six times a day and carpets, floors, Zamzam water fountains and all maintenance vehicles are sanitized around the clock.
Sanitizing devices have been installed at the entrances of the mosque and on escalators. Air-conditioning systems are cleaned with ultraviolet rays and scent is sprayed in the mosque frequently.
Thermal cameras are being used in the mosque to identify people with high body temperatures.
The Mataf area surrounding the Kaaba will only be used by Umrah pilgrims to perform the Tawaf ritual to ensure their safety and comfort.