The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has revealed that almost 7.5 million people performed Umrah and prayed at the Grand Mosque in Makkah during the past four months.
According to the statement by the General Presidency, 1.9 million people performed Umrah and 5.5 million people prayed at the mosque between Oct. 4 2020, when services that had been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic resumed, and Jan. 30 2021.
The Director of the General Department for Crowds and Promotions at the presidency Osama Al-Hujaili said that the authority has “devoted all its energies to serving the pilgrims and providing them with a safe and healthy environment.”
He added that strict surveillance was in place to avoid any sort of violation of health protocols. In addition to this, Director of the General Department for Crowds and Promotions at the presidency Osama Al-Hujaili said that when Umrah pilgrimages returned, in phases, health precautions were in place and lanes were added so that pilgrims and worshipers could maintain the recommended safe social distancing.
When the third phase began, on Nov. 1, Al-Hujaili said additional lanes were created near the Kaaba for use by the elderly and people with disabilities.
The first of these lanes is 155 meters long, can accommodate 45 wheelchairs and takes between 10 and 15 minutes to circumambulate.
The second lane, the closest to the Kaaba, is 145 meters long, can accommodate 50 people, and is for use by elderly people who do not require a wheelchair.
In a separate statement, the Governor of the Makkah region, Prince Khalid al-Faisal said that officials are studying ways in which to enrich the experience of Hajj and Umrah pilgrims on their religious journey.