17 August 2022

Saudi Arabia has installed “advanced self-sterilisation gates” at the entrances of the grand mosques in Makkah and Madinah in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

According to Saudi24, the move is part of the government’s “Together Guarded” initiative which has seen precautionary measures put in place since the pandemic hit the kingdom’s shores.

The General Presidency for the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque inaugurated the advanced self-sterilising portals which sterilise people with antiseptic spray and are equipped with thermal cameras to detect temperatures from six metres away and a smart screen for reading temperatures, where it can read the temperature of several people at the same time.

All workers at both mosques will be required to pass through the gates before entering them, and the systems themselves will be sterilised periodically.

The kingdom closed both mosques to worshippers only opening them to clerics and workers during Ramadan in an effort to ensure prayers continue to take place on site.

To date, Saudi has reported nearly 32,000 coronavirus cases including 209 deaths. The New York Times said more than 150 members of the royal family have been infected, reports which officials have refuted.

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