MAKKAH — Prayer rugs spread in the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah have been taken away from the respective premises as a precautionary measure.
The move is in line with the directives of Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, chief of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
The presidency said carpets have been removed as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to prevent any infection by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensure the safety of the worshipers and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Sunday.
Sheikh Al-Sudais also reviewed the measures taken by the presidency to combat the virus.
On Friday (March 20), authorities suspended the entry and prayer in the piazzas (outer courtyards) of the Two Holy Mosques.
“The presidency and the security and health agencies decided to halt the presence of people and prayer in the outer courtyards of the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah starting from Friday (March 20), as part of the precautionary and preventative measures to contain the spread of coronavirus,” said the spokesman according to a statement on Twitter.
Earlier, Minister of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh urged the believers to offer funeral prayers in the premises of cemeteries.
“This was the custom, which has been followed ever since the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions. There had been places designated for offering prayers at cemeteries,” he said while pointing out that the facilities for washing the dead have to remain open as usual, the Saudi Press Agency quoted him as saying.
Al-Sheikh directed strict implementation of the decision of the Council of Senior Scholars to suspend the daily congregational prayers and the weekly Friday prayer in all mosques across the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the workforce for sanitizing the Grand Mosque in Makkah has been increased to 450 from 330.
Earlier reports said a 330-member sanitizing team is engaged in cleaning, sanitizing and incensing the Mataf (circumambulation area) and other parts of the Grand Mosque.
The Sterilization and Carpets Administration wing of the presidency is meticulously sanitizing the Grand Mosque daily using environment-friendly sanitizers to ensure that the environment and human beings are not affected.
The cleaning and sanitization process ensures the safety of worshipers and visitors to the Haram by eradicating all viruses and microbes stuck on the floors and surfaces of facilities and implements used in the Grand Mosque and its piazzas.
Saudi Gazette report