Saudi Hajj officials outline health, security measures

A picture taken June 23, 2020 shows a few worshippers performing morning prayers at the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque complex in Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca. Saudi Arabia has announced it will hold a "very limited" hajj this year, with pilgrims already in the kingdom allowed to perform the annual ritual as it moves to curb the biggest coronavirus outbreak in the Gulf. (AFP)
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Updated 16 July 2020

Saudi Hajj officials outline health, security measures

  • Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only a limited number of domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj this year in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak
  • Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, minister of interior and chairman of the Hajj Supreme Committee, chaired a virtual meeting on Wednesday with the heads of  security agencies and officials in charge of this year’s Hajj season.
During the meeting, the minister and security officials discussed organizational issues related to Hajj, including preventive and precautionary steps related to fighting the coronavirus disease, procedures related to pilgrims commuting to the holy sites, and mechanisms to facilitate performing the Hajj rituals.
Prince Abdul Aziz confirmed abiding by the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to take all precautions to preserve the safety of the pilgrims, and facilitate their performance of their Hajj rituals, according to the highest health standards to contain the new coronavirus pandemic.
Saudi Arabia has decided to allow only a limited number of domestic pilgrims to perform Hajj this year in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Only those expatriates between the ages of 20 and 50 who are not suffering from any chronic diseases can apply for the pilgrimage.
Earlier, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said that requests from people of 160 nationalities in the Kingdom have been screened electronically to select who will perform Hajj this year.
Of the pilgrims who will receive approval, 70 percent will be non-Saudis residing in the Kingdom and the remaining 30 percent will be Saudi citizens.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior said that anyone found entering the sites of Hajj (Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat) without a permit from July 18 till the end of Dhu Al-Hijjah 12 will be issued with a fine of SR10,000 ($2,600).
The fine will be doubled if the offence is repeated. Security personnel will be posted on roads leading to the holy sites to ensure that anyone who breaks the law will be stopped and fined.
Around 2.5 million foreign and domestic pilgrims performed Hajj last year.
 


Jazan governor inaugurates development projects in Bisha

Updated 56 min 8 sec ago

Jazan governor inaugurates development projects in Bisha

BISHA: Jazan Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Nasser bin Abdul Aziz visited Bisha governorate on Saturday as part of his inspection tour around the region.

During the tour, Prince Mohammed inaugurated several development and service projects implemented at the initiative of Saudi Aramco in the northern corniche of Bisha Beach, in addition to numerous municipal projects, roads and social development works in the governorate that amounted to more than SR41 million ($11 million), the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The projects included the Border Guards sector command building in Bisha, the fishermen’s marina and the tourist beach on the northern corniche of the governorate that is 107 km long.

Other projects include the eastern ring belt project in the governorate, several roads linking the main roads in Bisha, municipal projects such as asphalting, lighting, humanization projects, municipal investments and social development projects supporting fishermen in the governorate.

The governor stressed the importance of inaugurated projects such as the North Corniche Tourist Beach as they will increase developmental and tourist services for the region.

Prince Mohammed reviewed the most important projects underway in the governorate, including basic and transformational industries in the city of Jazan and an oil refinery that has begun its trial operation.