Saudi Arabia installs self-sterilisation gates in Mecca, Medina
The conservative kingdom has installed the gates at the entrances to the Grand Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.
The sterilisation gates spray worshippers with antiseptic and are also equipped with thermal cameras able to detect temperatures from a distance of six metres.
But a round-the-clock lockdown was maintained in some areas including Mecca, which has reported the kingdom's highest number of infections in recent days despite being sealed off.
Saudi Arabia had already installed thermal cameras, instituted social distancing and suspended communal prayers.
The nightly prayers performed during the holy month of Ramadan, known as Tarawih, held at the Grand Mosque and Prophet's Mosque have also been closed to the public.
But this year, images of the Kaabah show only a handful of worshippers praying at a distance from one another.
WATCH: Saudi cleric cries during Ramadan's first 'socially-distanced' Taraweeh prayers in Mecca
Last month, Saudi Arabia suspended the year-round Umrah pilgrimage over fears of the novel coronavirus spreading to Islam's holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, which were placed under 24-hour curfews.
Authorities are yet to announce whether they will proceed with this year's Hajj pilgrimage, scheduled for the end of July, but they have urged Muslims to temporarily defer preparations for the annual pilgrimage.Saudi Arabia has confirmed 33,731 cases of coronavirus infection, with over 219 resulting deaths, while the virus has infected at least 3.7 million globally.
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