Hajj safety: Saudi Arabia introduces hi-tech bracelets for all pilgrims
Saudi Arabia oversees the annual pilgrimage to Makkah by more than two million Muslims from around the world
Saudi Arabia will introduce electronic identification bracelets for all hajj pilgrims to Makkah starting this year, local media reported on Thursday, as part of a safety drive a year after the annual Islamic rite suffered its deadliest disaster in a generation.
Scores of people died in a crush when thousands of pilgrims were in Mina for stoning the devil ritual last September.
Containing personal and medical information, the bracelets will help authorities provide care and identify people, the official Saudi Press Agency SPA said.
Water-resistant and connected to GPS, the devices will also instruct worshipers on timings of prayers and a multi-lingual help desk to guide especially non-Arabic speaking pilgrims around the various rituals of the annual Islamic event.
Saudi Arabia oversees the annual pilgrimage to Makkah by more than two million Muslims from around the world.
Nearly a thousand new surveillance cameras were installed this month at the Grand Mosque and linked to control rooms staffed by special forces monitoring pilgrim movements for the Ramadan rush and the Haj event scheduled for September.