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Technology Infuses Ancient Hajj Rites Tailored for Pandemic

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The Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The select few approved for this years hajj have been tested for the virus and are self-isolating in hotel rooms in Mecca, where they will experience an ancient pilgrimage tailored this year for a modern-day pandemic.

Credit: Associated Press

A small number of devout Muslims are being allowed to participate in the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca this year, tailored for the coronavirus pandemic with the latest technology.

The Saudi health ministry provides electronic wristbands to pilgrims before they enter Mecca, in order to monitor their movements and ensure the quarantine is observed, while thermal scanners track their temperatures.

During the prayer and repentance ritual on Mount Arafat, pilgrims will wear high-tech identity cards that connect to an application on their phones, which in addition to enabling government monitoring, allows pilgrims to contact their group leaders and request special meals.

Pilgrims also have special apparel impregnated with silver nano technology that helps kill bacteria and makes clothing water-resistant.

From Associated Press
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