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Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia activates thermal cameras in Medina’s Prophet’s Mosque

Published: Updated:

Saudi Arabia has activated thermal body cameras in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, official Saudi Press Agency reported on Friday.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

The cameras can accurately screen the temperatures of up to 25 people at the same time, according to SPA. The automated devices work at distance of nine meters and provide an immediate audio and visual reading for each individual.

Images and temperatures recorded can be stored for up to one month for reference, with the ability to remotely send them directly to specialists when needed.

The Kingdom had halter prayers in the outer courtyards of the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina last month as part of the efforts to the slow the spread of the deadly virus. Friday prayers and other main prayers were also suspended last month in mosques across the country. The only prayers permitted to continue outside the home are to be at the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina, according to an SPA report.

Saudi Arabia has so far recorded 6,380 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths. Meanwhile, a total of 990 people recovered.

Health minister expects cases to reach 200,000

Saudi Arabia’s Health Minister Dr. Tawfig al-Rabiah warned that the number of cases in the Kingdom could reach up to 200,000 within weeks, based on four different studies conducted by Saudi and foreign experts. His lower estimate was 10,000.

“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures, in its entirety reduces the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” al-Rabiah was quoted as saying by SPA.

He also said the numbers in the coming stages depend on everyone's cooperation and commitment to the instructions and precautionary measures. Many people did not take the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister.

Read more:

Mecca authorities to close Grand Mosque’s non-main entrances

Saudi Arabia cases could reach 200,000 within weeks, says minister

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