After almost seven months, Saudi Arabia on Sunday resumed the Umrah pilgrimage for hundreds of residents of the country amid stringent health measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of residents were welcomed into Makkah on Sunday who circled the Holy Kaaba along socially distanced paths.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques is received pilgrims. The pilgrims gathered at allocated sites in Makkah including Ajyad, Al-Shasha, Al-Gazzah and Al-Zahir, and were transported to the Kaaba in special buses.

Moreover, at least 1,000 employees have been appointed to monitor Umrah rituals at the Grand Mosque which is cleaned 10 times a day.

In order to ensure the safety of the Umrah pilgrims, thermal cameras have been placed at the entrances and inside halls of the Grand Mosque to monitor body temperature spikes and issue alerts if necessary.

The Kingdom took drastic measures to combat the pandemic and suspended the Umrah pilgrimage and prayers in mosques in mid-March.

Saudi Arabia also halted international flights and implemented a lockdown to prevent surge in virus cases.

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