UNB:  The select few approved for this year’s hajj have been tested for the virus and are self-isolating in hotel rooms in Mecca, where they will experience an ancient pilgrimage — albeit tailored this year for a modern-day pandmic.
 Amr Al-Maddah, the chief planning officer at the Ministry of Hajj, is helping incorporate the latest technology into the pilgrimage such as thermal scanners and electronic ID cards. “Right now, technology is our black horse to developing the whole hajj journey,” said al-Maddah, an electronics engineer with a Ph.D. in robotics and artificial intelligence.
 Before pilgrims could even enter Mecca, they were given wristbands by the Saudi health ministry to monitor their movements and ensure the mandatory quarantine was observed. Thermal scanners are being used across the holy sites to monitor people’s temperatures.