Mecca mosques set to reopen on Sunday

More than 1,500 mosques are due to reopen Sunday in the holy city of Mecca amid strict health precautions after three-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia, a media report said.

Late last month, mosques reopened across Saudi Arabia, except in Mecca, for congregation prayers as part of a phased plan for gradual return to normalcy, said the Gulf news report.

On Sunday, nearly 1,560 mosques in Mecca will reopen for worshippers starting from the Fajr prayer.

The branch of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Mecca has readied the city’s mosques for the planned reopening by putting in place precautions that include the use of personal prayer rugs, and keeping distancing among worshippers.

The Ministry has hired agencies to sterilise and clean up the places of worship during their shutdowns, added the Gulf News report.

Volunteers have worked over the past days in implementing precautionary steps inside Mecca’s mosques including pasting signs on carpets showing worshippers distancing while they offer prayers.

As of Saturday, Saudi Arabia reported a total of 150,292 COVID-19 cases, with 1,184 deaths.