Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia halts prayer in courtyards of holy mosques in Mecca, Medina

General view of Kaaba at the Grand Mosque, after Saudi authorities suspended Umrah amid the fear of coronavirus outbreak, at Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, March 5, 2020. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia halted entering and praying in the outer courtyards of the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina, especially on Friday, as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to contain the coronavirus, the spokesman for the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Affairs said early Friday.

“The authority and the security and health agencies decided to halt the presence of people and prayer in the outer courtyards of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet’s mosque in Medina staring from Friday March 20, as part of the precautionary and preventative measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus,” said the spokesman according to a statement on Twitter.

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Saudi Arabia has 274 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Thursday, according to the health ministry.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz had said in a televised address Thursday night that the government is taking all required measures to combat the coronavirus and working to ensure that each resident and citizen is provided with medicine, food and living necessities during this crisis.

Find out: Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia: The latest facts about what is closed and banned

“Your nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, continues to take all precautionary measures to confront this pandemic and limit its effects. We depend on the aid of God Almighty, then on deploying our full capabilities, supported by your strong determination to face adversities with the steadfastness of believers at the forefront,” King Salman said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:06 - GMT 11:06
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