An aerial view of the Grand Mosque. Image Credit: Reuters

Cairo: Saudi authorities have employed thousands of workers for daily disinfection of the Grand Mosque that usually sees a peak season of Umrah or lesser pilgrimage in the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

The General Presidency for Affairs of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet Mohammed’s Mosque in Medina has provided nearly 12,000 workers divided over four shifts daily to ensure a safe and healthy environment for the worshippers at the Grand Mosque, Saudi online newspaper Ajel reported.

The holy site is sterilised 10 times per day, it added.

The sterilisation process at the mosque, Islam's holiest site, includes 1,100 sterilisers, 20 disinfecting spray devices and 130,000 litres of water for daily washing of its utilities.

Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court has called for sighting the crescent of Ramadan on Thursday to determine the start of the lunar month during which Muslims observe daily dawn-to-dusk fasting. According to astronomical calculations, Ramadan is due to begin on April 2 this year.

Saudi Arabia this month lifted most COVID-19 restrictions amid a marked drop in infections in the country.

This included scrapping physical distancing among worshippers at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet Mohammed's Mosque. Still, worshippers are required to wear face masks.

Saudi authorities also cancelled mandatory PCR tests as well as institutional and home quarantine for arrivals in the kingdom.