Saudi Arabia activates thermal cameras at Masjid-i-Nabawi to read body temperature
The authorities in Saudi Arabia have activated thermal body cameras in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medinah as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The cameras can accurately screen the temperatures of up to 25 people at the same time, according to SPA. The automated devices work at distance of nine metres and provide an immediate audio and visual reading for each individual.
Images and temperatures recorded can be stored for up to one month for reference, with the ability to remotely send them directly to specialists when needed.
The Kingdom had halted prayers in the outer courtyards of the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medinah last month as part of the efforts to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Friday prayers and other main prayers were also suspended last month in mosques across the country. The only prayers permitted to continue outside the home are to be at the Two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Medinah, according to a SPA report.
Saudi Arabia has so far recorded 6,380 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 83 deaths. Meanwhile, a total of 990 people recovered.
Saudi Arabian Health Minister Dr Tawfig al-Rabiah warned that the number of cases in the Kingdom could reach up to 200,000 within weeks, based on four different studies conducted by Saudi and foreign experts. His lower estimate was 10,000.
“There is no doubt that our commitment to the instructions and procedures in its entirety reduce the number of cases to the minimum, while non-compliance will lead to a huge increase in the number of cases,” al-Rabiah was quoted as saying by the SPA.
He also said the numbers in the coming stages depend on everyone's cooperation and commitment to the instructions and precautionary measures. Many people did not take the dangers of the pandemic seriously enough, according to the health minister.
On Friday last, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh had said prayers during Ramazan and the subsequent Eidul Fitr should be performed at home if the coronavirus outbreak continues.
“Ramazan’s Taraweeh prayer can be performed at home if it cannot be performed at mosques due to the preventive measures taken to fight the spread of coronavirus,” Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh said in response to a question, adding that the same applies for Eid prayers, Okaz newspaper reported.
The holy month of Ramazan starts next week.