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Hajj relies on technology amid Covid-19 pandemic

Jul 29, 2020 17:20 IST

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca for the annual Hajj every year, however, this time only 1,000 to 10,000 will be allowed in a symbolic pilgrimage. The few who have been approved have been tested for Covid-19 and are in isolation in hotels in Mecca. According to the chief planning and strategy officer at the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, authorities are banking on technology to make the pilgrimage accessible and easier. Those approved have been given an electronic bracelet to monitor their movement as they quarantine themselves. Thermal scanners have been installed across the holy sites. Each pilgrim will be assigned to a group of 20 others along with a group leader. On Mount Arafat, pilgrims will wear high-tech identification cards connected to a mobile application to reach out to their group leader. This year's pilgrims are being treated as special guests of the Saudi king. Preference has been given to residents who have not performed the hajj before, and to doctors and nurses in Saudi Arabia.