Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia issued 30 million permits for Umrah pilgrims from home and abroad, and visitors and worshipers to the Grand Mosque in a year, a senior official said on Sunday.
Spokesman of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Hisham Saeed, said 21,000 Umrah visas were issued last month for people from outside the Kingdom, and more than 10 million domestic and international pilgrims have performed Umrah with ease since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vaccinated worshippers must obtain permits beforehand to be allowed into the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca as part of efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The number of pilgrims and worshippers allowed to perform Umrah and pray at the Grand Mosque in Makkah was increased from Friday.
Up to 100,000 pilgrims will be able to perform Umrah daily, an increase of 30,000 to the current capacity, and 60,000 worshippers will be able to pray at the mosque.
Permits are issued through the Tawakkalna and Etamarna apps.
The resumption of Umrah for pilgrims from other countries started on August 10, as the Kingdom continues to ease coronavirus restrictions.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom announced the start of receiving applications from citizens wishing to travel to the red list countries, on humanitarian grounds, through the electronic platform of the Ministry of Interior (Absher). The General Directorate of Passports said the service allows requesting travel permits for the following cases: permanent residence abroad, the death of a relative, continuing to accompany a citizen receiving treatment abroad, and Saudi organ donors to their relatives.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohammad Al Abd Al Aali, said the Kingdom was witnessing a remarkable increase in the rates of inoculation with two COVID-19 vaccine doses in all regions, with Al Baha, Eastern Province and Riyadh exceeding 65 per cent.
“The Kingdom also witnessed a significant decline in the number of critical cases,” he added, pointing out the patients who entered intensive care and their health was deteriorating did not complete the two-dose vaccination.
According to the figures, the country has administered more than 42 million vaccine doses, the proportion of those who received one dose reached 66.33 per cent, while those who received the two doses reached 19 million people, or more than 53.5 per cent.
Forty-one new infections were recorded in the past 24 hours, bringing the tally to 547,262, while 49 cases recovered, with total recoveries reaching 536,330.
Two deaths were recorded, bringing the death toll to 8,724, and the number of critical cases reached 181.
The Ministry of Interior also announced on Sunday 22,380 people were booked for breaking the precautionary and preventive measures against COVID-19 in a week.