An elderly pilgrim poses for a picture in front of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Over 90,000 mosques will reopen on Sunday after being sanitised, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced on Thursday.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance is all set to reopen more than 90,000 major and minor mosques across the Kingdom, except mosques in Makkah.

The ministry and its staff have already embarked on maintenance, cleaning and sanitisation process of the mosques, which will reopen on the dawn of Sunday, except the mosques in Makkah, after over a two-month closure in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The reopening of mosques will be carried out in line with the precautionary instructions and mandatory guidelines issued by the ministry.

Dr. Abdul Latif Al Sheikh, Minister of Islamic Affairs, said the ministry is carrying

out a several campaigns on all media outlets, TV channels, radio stations, newspapers and online news platforms, in addition to its portal and other digitally-administered websites, in order to disseminate precautionary medical instructions and procedures in various languages, urging all worshipers to abide by them for their own safety.

Among the instructions are doing ablution at home, proper hand washing and using sanitizers before going out to the mosque and after coming back home. Elders and those with chronic diseases are advised to perform their prayers at home. Reading and reciting the Holy Qur’an online is advised, too, from one's own mobile phone or at least reading from a privately owned copy of Holy Quran.

Bringing one's prayer rug to perform prayers in mosques is highly recommended as well as keeping a two-meter distance between one another prayer.

Under 15-year old children are banned from praying at mosques. Wearing facemasks and avoidance of handshaking and scrambling at mosques gates, are also recommendable.

Meanwhile, the ministry managed, during the closure of mosques, to carry out a massive cleaning, sanitizing and maintaining drive of all mosques across the Kingdom in compliance with the highest internationally recognised practices, including sanitizing over 10 million mosques, 43 million copies of several sizes and volumes of Quran, more than 600,000 Quran cupboards, in addition to repairing and maintaining about 176,000 water closets, annexed to mosques.