Coronavirus amid Hajj: Mecca security use 6,250 cameras to monitor holy sites

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Over 6,250 CCTV cameras were used this year to monitor the holy sites in Mecca during the Hajj pilgrimage that has been held in a limited capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to authorities.

The Hajj monitoring center is linked to about 772 of those cameras at any given time to ensure security forces are able to monitor and respond to the movements of all Hajj pilgrims, according to Brigadier Abdulrahman al-Qahtani, the commander in charge of monitoring the Jamaraat Bridge where pilgrims have been performing the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual as the Hajj draws to a close.

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“These cameras are being used from the control center to assist with our security forces on the field to help them with the movement of pilgrims throughout their pilgrimage across the holy sites,” al-Qahtani told Al Arabiya.

The control center is primarily concerned with providing a wider picture to the general field officers on what is happening on the sites, where officers at the headquarters are able to adjust and zoom in on footage using the CCTV cameras.

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Sunday marks the final day of Hajj and Eid al-Adha. Pilgrims will now perform the “stoning the devil” ritual one last time at the Jamaraat Bridge in Mecca during the day. They will then head back to the Grand Mosque for a final time to circle the Kaaba, known as the “farewell” tawaf, set to take place at 4 pm local time.

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