Riyadh, Jul 13 (EFE).- Saudi Arabia is preparing to welcome 60,000 residents to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina for the Hajj pilgrimage amid strict health measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
This is the second year in which the kingdom has limited the number of pilgrims, with only fully vaccinated citizens living in the country allowed to perform the annual ritual that usually draws up to 2 million Muslims from around the world.
Khaled Faisal, the governor of Mecca region, visited the holy areas to check preparations, which will introduce smart technology to assist pilgrims, according to local media.
This year, for the first time, the faithful will use a smart card with their identity, their nationality and place of accommodation, as well as information about their health status.
The Hajj pilgrimage will take place from July 18 to 23, during which pilgrims will be able to use mobile applications to facilitate their transportation.
Hajj, which the kingdom limited it to only 1,000 people last year, is one of the five pillars of Islam and is a mandatory duty for all Muslims to complete once in a lifetime, if they have the financial and physical means to do so.