After recording an outbreak of cases carrying the coronavirus in particular because of a new global wave caused by the Omicron variant, Saudi Arabia decided on Thursday to reimpose social distancing measures in Mecca.
Another blow for the Wahhabi kingdom which welcomed millions of faithful to Mecca several times a year to make pilgrimages.
The country has seen the number of new covid-19 positives multiply within days, reaching an average of 700 cases per day.
On Thursday, the country’s official agency announced the authorities’ decision to re-impose social distancing, a measure that had already been taken at the height of the pandemic, and was only canceled in October.
“The decision to reapply physical distancing on Thursday (…) stems from the concern to protect the health of the faithful,” said the Saudi press agency.
This new measure risks dealing a further blow to Saudi Arabia’s cash register, which normally earns around 12 billion dollars thanks to the various pilgrimages organized throughout the year.
The Gulf countries have all been affected by this epidemic fever since December, seeing the number of infections multiply by at least 10, and this despite the highest vaccination rates.