Saudi Arabia (Mecca)- Due to the coronavirus outbreak, robots began handing out bottles of precious water in Mecca this week in anticipation for a socially separated Hajj pilgrimage in Islam’s holiest city.
Saudi Arabia declared on Saturday that 60,000 residents who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be able to participate in the July pilgrimage, which is an increase over previous year but still a small amount compared to usual periods. In 2019, 2.5 million Muslims from all over the world took part in Hajj.
Saudi Officials rolled out the miniature black-and-white robots, each filled with three shelves of water bottles, in the hopes of preventing any coronavirus outbreaks, and a few admirers helped themselves with a mixture of bafflement and enjoyment.
“The aim of these robots is to provide personal services without any human contact,” said Bader Al-Loqmani. He is in charge of the sacred spring of Zamzam, which flows into Mecca’s Grand Mosque, which is erected around the Kaaba, the black cubic structure that Muslims all over the world pray to.
“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.
Pilgrims have travelled to the Zamzam spring for centuries, believing it to be magical in Islamic tradition. Every year, hundreds of thousands of bottles of Zamzam water are distributed.
The Hajj is one of Islam’s five pillars or fundamental responsibilities, however it will be restricted to vaccinated Saudi Arabian residents for the second year in a running.
Video Source: Youtube/gph.gov.sa