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WHO Hails Saudi Measures in Reopening Holy Sites for Umrah

WHO Hails Saudi Measures in Reopening Holy Sites for Umrah

Wednesday, 21 October, 2020 - 05:45
Umrah pilgrims are seen in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

The World Health Organization hailed on Tuesday the measures and precautions Saudi Arabia has implemented in confronting the novel coronavirus pandemic.

It also praised the measures it has adopted in ensuring the safety and health of Umrah pilgrims as the Kingdom gradually began resuming the pilgrimage earlier this month.

In a tweet, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Saudi Ministry of Health “has put in place strong measures to reopen holiest sites for Umrah pilgrims during COVID19.”

The WHO is “grateful for Saudi Arabia's leadership and support to the ACT-Accelerator,” he added in reference to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator.

ACT-Accelerator is the Global Collaboration to Accelerate the Development, Production and Equitable Access to New COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, a G20 initiative announced by Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed al-Jadaan in April.

The Kingdom has allowed citizens and residents to start performing Umrah as of Oct.4 at 30 percent capacity, or 6,000 pilgrims a day. It will open for Muslims from abroad starting Nov. 1. The second phase kicked off on Sunday. No virus cases have been reported among the pilgrims.

Saudi Arabia reported on Tuesday 375 more recoveries from the coronavirus, taking its total to 329,270. It confirmed 385 new infections, raising the tally to 342,968.

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