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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah announced on Wednesday that the entry of Umrah pilgrims, worshippers and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques will be regulated through the application ‘I’tamarna’, which will be available on smartphones effective from September 27. According to Saudi Gazette, the ministry has developed the app in cooperation with the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to regulate the times of rituals of those wishing to visit Makkah and Madinah to perform Umrah and pray at the Two Holy Mosques.
Saudi Arabia will gradually resume the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from October 4, the interior ministry said on Tuesday, seven months after it was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the first stage, “6,000 citizens and residents within the Kingdom will be allowed to perform the Umrah per day from October 4”, the ministry said in a statement published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Visitors from outside the Kingdom will be permitted from November 1, when Umrah’s capacity will be raised to 20,000 pilgrims per day, the ministry said. The new app will enable the pilgrims and visitors to plan their pilgrimage and visit in advance, as well as to make reservation of optional services to perform their rituals in ease and comfort. It will also ensure compliance to the health and precautionary measures and preventive protocols, approved by the Ministry of Health and other competent authorities, to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Ministry of Hajj said that the application would be available for users of iOS and Android operating systems seven days before the start of the first phase of the resumption. The registration of the data entered by the pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques will be directly related to the application ‘Tawakkalna’, the official app launched by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The ministry said in a statement: “This step would consist of a number of procedures, including providing a guarantee that the pilgrim or visitor is free from coronavirus.
“The application enables pilgrims and visitors to select the appropriate time for performance of the rituals in accordance with the available dates, as well as to choose the accompanying services that they wish to be made available for them such as choosing the means of transportation, gathering points and service centers.” The ministry stressed the importance of pilgrims and visitors strictly adhering to the precautionary measures that ensure their safety and health, such as wearing masks, maintaining safe physical distance, and complying with the times and routes designated for each pilgrim and visitor. The ministry stressed the Kingdom’s keenness to enable the guests of God to perform their rituals in a safe and healthy manner to protect them from the threats of pandemic and achieving the objectives of the Islamic Shariah in safeguarding the human soul at any In March this year, the Ministry of Interior announced the temporary suspension of the Umrah pilgrimage and visit to the Holy Mosques for both foreign and domestic pilgrims and worshippers as part of the precautionary measures implemented following the outbreak of the pandemic. Source: Khaleejtimes
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