• Monday, Aug 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 06:51 pm

Socially distanced robots serve Mecca holy water ahead of Hajj

  • Published at 12:58 pm June 17th, 2021
Hajj Makkah
File Photo: Saudi Arabia has restricted the annual Hajj pilgrimage to citizens and residents this year and set a maximum of 60,000 pilgrims limit in response to the Covid-19 pandemic Reuters

Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday that 60,000 residents vaccinated against the coronavirus would be able to perform the July pilgrimage

Robots began handing out bottles of sacred water in Mecca this week in preparation for a socially distanced Hajj pilgrimage in Islam's holiest city, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday that 60,000 residents vaccinated against the coronavirus would be able to perform the July pilgrimage -- a number up from last year but drastically lower than in normal times.

Some 2.5 million Muslims from around the world participated in 2019.

Officials hoping to prevent any coronavirus outbreaks rolled out the small black-and-white robots on Sunday, each loaded with three shelves of water bottles, as a few devotees helped themselves with a mixture of bafflement and amusement.

"The aim of these robots is to provide personal services without any human contact," said Bader Al-Loqmani. 

He manages water from the sacred spring of Zamzam which emerges in Mecca's Grand Mosque, built around the Kaaba, the black cubic building towards which Muslims around the world pray.

"Roughly 20 robots are currently available for helping visitors and pilgrims at the hajj," Loqmani said, noting that more could be brought onstream if necessary.

For centuries, pilgrims have flocked to drink water from the Zamzam spring, seen as miraculous in Islamic tradition.

Hundreds of thousands of bottles of Zamzam water are usually distributed each year.

The Hajj is one of the five pillars or key duties of Islam, but for the second year in a row will only be permitted for vaccinated residents of Saudi Arabia.

51
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail