1 July 2016
Muslim faithful performing this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia will be provided electronic identification bracelets as part of a safety drive for pilgrims and to avoid disaster.
As many as 2,070 people died in a crush when thousands of pilgrims converged on a walkway intersection near the Muslim holy city of Mecca last September, the highest loss of life at the annual pilgrimage since 1990.
An official report said that the bracelet that would contain personal and medical information would help the authorities provide care and identify people.
It explained that the device would also instruct worshippers 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.
It reported that nearly a thousand new surveillance cameras have been installed at Mecca’s Grand Mosque and linked to control rooms staffed by special forces monitoring pilgrim movements for the event scheduled for August.