Saudi Arabia suspends prayers in arenas outside Mecca, Medina holy mosques


Saudi Arabia has suspended the five daily prayers and weekly Friday prayer in the overflow area outside the walls of the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina to limit the spread of coronavirus.


Addressing the nation on Thursday evening, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz said it is essential to enhance the individual and collective awareness and adherence to instructions by relevant authorities amid the exceptional circumstances engulfing the entire world.

“We are passing through a difficult phase in world history. I frankly say that the upcoming phase will be more difficult for the world,” he said.

“However, we are confident that this will pass. We will spare nothing to safeguard the safety of people and we are fully aware of what the world is suffering.”


The Saudi king underlined his keenness to make everything available for both Saudi citizens and expatriate residents, and that all health sectors, primarily the health ministry, are doing their utmost to take all the necessary measures.

Saudi Arabia’s government has agreed on cutting 50 billion riyals ($13.32 billion), representing less than 5 percent in its 2020 budget, in areas that have the least social and economic impact, state news agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday, citing Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan.

“The government took measures to curb impact of oil price drop and will take additional measures to deal with expected price decrease, the minister added.


Al Jadaan also said that given the potential impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, “developments will be reassessed, items of expenditures will be reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made in a timely manner.” SPA reported.

The kingdom has taken a series of stringent precautionary measures to keep the COVID-19 at bay and safeguard the safety of its citizens and residents.

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