Saudi Arabia makes masks mandatory, bans gatherings during Hajj Jul 07, 2020 0 62 12345 DPARiyadhMuslim pilgrims at this year’s Hajj must wear face masks at all times, authorities said, while workers will ensure no overcrowding or gatherings take place during the pilgrimage that in normal times brings together more than 2 million people.The kingdom has drastically curtailed the pilgrimage this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that only the few thousands who already live inside Saudi Arabia could perform the Hajj, which will begin late July.Saudi Arabia’s Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SaudiCDC) released a list of instructions for pilgrims and workers to follow.A space of one-and-a-half metres between each pilgrim must be observed during prayers or other rituals, at restaurants or inside tents, according to the list published by official news agency SPA.People will not be allowed to touch the Kaaba, the cube-shaped, black-clad shrine at Mecca’s Grand Mosque. Pilgrims usually walk around the Kabaa several times during the Hajj.Pilgrims are banned from sharing personal items such as clothes, phones and towels.Buses transporting pilgrims from one holy site to another must be occupied at 50-percent capacity, as each pilgrim will be assigned the same seat throughout the Hajj.At restaurants, only pre-packaged meals will be available as well as single-use bottles filled with water from the holy Zamzam well.Saudi Arabia banned pilgrims from outside the kingdom in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.The kingdom has the highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Arab world, with more than 200,000 infections. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Palestinians seek closure of West Bank crossings to curb virus Jul 07, 2020 0 328 ‘Does not matter’ who wins next US elections: Iran foreign minister Jul 07, 2020 0 329 Kenya to emerge from virus lockdown, resume international flights Jul 07, 2020 0 343 Rocket fired at Baghdad airport, no explosion: Security source AFP Baghdad A rocket landed near Baghdad airport overnight but did not explode, an Iraqi security source said, after two other rocket attacks targeted American diplomatic and military installations at the weekend. .. Iran’s daily virus deaths near record high Tehran Iran on Monday reported 160 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, close to the country’s highest single-day toll announced the previous day. The Islamic republic has been battling the Middle East’s deadliest .. Shallow 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocks Kabul: USGS A shallow 4.6-magnitude earthquake rocked Kabul on Monday, the US Geological Survey said, sending crowds into the streets of the Afghan capital. There were no immediate reports of any casualties after the quake shook .. Ghana challenger names first woman as major party VP pick Accra Ghana’s main presidential challenger John Mahama on Monday named Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for December’s election, the first time a major party has chosen a female vice-presidential .. Israel launches new spy satellite to target enemies ‘near and far’ DPA Tel Aviv Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said his country was much better able to act against enemies “near and far” thanks to the successful launch of a new spy satellite. Against the backdrop of ..