Saudi Arabia retains ban on Iftar gatherings, Itikaf at Khana-e-Kaaba, Masjid-e-Nabvi

Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Al-Sudais announces Ramazan plan to contain the spread of coronavirus


News Desk March 29, 2021
Workers cleaning while some pilgrims pray in front of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque complex in holy city of Makkah during annual Hajj pilgrimage. PHOTO: AFP

Saudi Arabia has decided to retain ban on Iftar gathering and Itikaf at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) mosque in Madina during the month of Ramazan in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, announced on Sunday that the presidency would provide individual ready-made iftar meals for those visiting the Grand Mosque while distribution of Sehri (predawn meal) in the premises of Masjid-e-Nabvi will be forbidden, Saudi Gazette reported.

"The aim of the Ramazan plan is to tackle the pandemic by adhering to precautionary measures, the first of which is taking the vaccine, keeping physical distance and wearing a mask in order to preserve the health and safety of pilgrims, and worshipers,” Sheikh Al-Sudais said while announcing the measures to control spread of coronavirus during upcoming month of Ramazan.

“The mataf (area for circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba) will be designated only for Umrah pilgrims and there will be five designated areas inside the Grand Mosque and its eastern courtyard for performance of prayers,” the Imam-e-Kaaba said.

Earlier this month, the kingdom announced that Umrah permits will not be issued for domestic pilgrims above the age of 70 irrespective of their coronavirus vaccination status.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia recorded 541 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, marking the highest number of single-day infections in the kingdom in several months.

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