Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that 10 million pilgrims have successfully performed Umrah since Oct. 4, 2020, following the launch of its “safe Umrah” procedures and the gradual return of pilgrims to the Two Holy Mosques.
The ministry said that the current capacity of the Umrah pilgrimage amounted to 70,000 pilgrims per day, according to Abdulfattah Mashat, the deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, Gulf News reported.
The authorities plan to increase the capacity to reach 3.5 million pilgrims per month.
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The Saudi authorities also revealed that more than 12,000 visas to foreign pilgrims have been issued since the Kingdom began to welcome pilgrims from other countries on Aug. 10 this year.
While increasing capacity, the ministry urged everyone to follow all instructions and adhere to the precautionary measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Umrah is called the minor or lesser pilgrimage because unlike Hajj it’s not compulsory.
Although they share common rites, Umrah can be performed in a few hours and involves fewer rituals.
Saudi Arabia stopped the Umrah following the pandemic but reopened it to immunised domestic worshippers in October last year.
The Hajj took place in July this year and last year, though it was only open to a limited number of domestic worshippers.