Coronavirus Updates: Saudi Arabia suspends all prayers at every mosque over virus fears.
All prayers have been banned inside and outside the walls of the two mosques in Mecca and Madina. This move involves the daily prayers as well as the weekly Jummah prayers. The authorities have done this in order to ensure that the virus does not spread.
Before this, on Tuesday, the authorities had suspended prayers in all other mosques in the country except Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi, albeit restrictions were placed on praying inside Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.
On Thursday, prayers outside the two holy mosques were banned too. The official Saudi Press Agency (وكالة الأنباء السعودية) quoted a spokesman for the General Presidency of Mecca’s Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina i.e. Hani bin Hosni Haider, saying;
“The Presidency and the security and health authorities decided to suspend the presence and prayers in the outer squares of the Grand Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] and the Prophet’s Mosque [Masjid al-Nabawi] starting tomorrow, Friday”.
King Salman’s Address
King Salman assured the nation that the authorities will taken all the necessary measures to face this crisis. The King urged the citizens to work together to contain the pandemic.
In his address, he said;
“We will overcome hardships by believing in God, trusting His will, doing the deeds we have to do, and exerting and devoting all our efforts to protect the health and safety of humans and provide all the necessities required to ensure they lead decent lives. We reaffirm that continuing this sincere and hard work at such a difficult time can’t be achieved but with solidarity and collaboration, and by building on our positive spirits.”
He further added;
“We are completely certain that this phase will end and pass, despite its harsh and bitter difficulties, with belief in God’s words: (Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease, Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease). We depend on the aid of God Almighty, then on deploying our full capabilities, supported by your strong determination to face adversities with the steadfastness of believers at the forefront.”
The monarch closed off his speech by saying that:
“All government sectors, led by the Ministry of Health, are doing all they can and taking all necessary measures to ensure the health of the nation’s citizens and residents.”
Coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s health ministry announced 36 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. Of the new cases, 17 people came from other countries including Morocco, Britain, Spain, Iran, Pakistan, Kuwait, Iraq, India, the US and Egypt.
The other 19 cases included people who had contact with previously announced cases of coronavirus. The ministry said the total number of coronavirus cases in the Kingdom of Saudia has reached 274. There have been no deaths thus far..
Other measures taken to prevent the spread
Aside from suspending prayers, the government has also suspended all Domestic flights, buses, taxis and trains. This will come into effect from 6 A.M, Saturday morning. It will last for a period of 14 days. Besides this, Government of Saudi Arabia has implemented urgent measures to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on economic activities.
For more coronavirus updates, read also: Coronavirus – a blessing in disguise?