Saudi Arabia tightens curbs in mosques amid rise in COVID-19 cases

The ministry has called on imams and preachers to educate society about the importance of maintaining public health and adherence to the regulation

Riyadh: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has instructed mosques across the kingdom to ensure worshippers’ compliance with precautions against COVID-19 in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, local media from the gulf country reported on Friday.

According to Arabic daily Al-Sabq, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance has issued a circular to employees in mosques instructing them to take precautionary measures in mosques, including social distancing and the wearing of face masks, to protect worshippers from the COVID-19 virus and its variants.

The ministry has called on imams and preachers to educate society about the importance of maintaining public health and adherence to the regulations.

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Saudi Arabia has increased the push for the vaccine, announcing that everyone 18 years of age or older will need to get a booster dose by February 2022.

With COVID-19 cases once again spiking, Saudi Arabia began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 5 and 11 from December 21.

Saudi Arabia on Friday registered 332 new COVID-19 cases and a single related fatality. This raises the total infection in the kingdom so far to 552,081 cases and 8,869 related deaths.

New COVID cases in the Kingdom have been fluctuating around the 50-mark, with infections dipping below or rising slightly over the mark during the past weeks, before rising above the 200 mark from December 21.

At least 70 per cent of the population has received one dose of a vaccine and 64 per cent have received two doses.

Life in Saudi Arabia has largely returned to normal, albeit through wearing masks, tests, social distancing, and other health measures. The kingdom has brought back major events – including the kingdom’s first F1 race and the return of the popular Riyadh season for music and the arts.

On December 1, Saudi Arabia confirmed its first Omicron case.

On December 18, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) urged its citizens and residents to avoid unnecessary travel outside the Kingdom, especially to high-risk countries, due to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

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