Study to assess Makkah pilgrims’ commitment to anti-virus measures

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

JEDDAH: Pilgrims performing Umrah at the Grand Mosque in Makkah are being monitored for adherence to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) precautionary measures as part of a study aimed at improving the quality of service offered to worshippers.

A team of crowd management experts from the holy city’s Umm Al-Qura University are focusing their research on circumambulation areas around the Kaaba during the third phase of the gradual resumption of Umrah.

Led by Dr. Bader bin Saud Al-Saud, the university’s assistant professor of crowd studies, the team will be conducting scientific field research dealing with high and low crowd flows and their impact on Umrah performers’ commitment to COVID-19 safety rules in the mataf area around the Kaaba.

Team members Dr. Bader bin Mohammed Al-Salami, Eng. Muhammad bin Nasser Al-Abdali, and Eng. Osama bin Mansour Al-Hujaili will gather data through close observation of a fixed group of Umrah worshippers.

The pilgrims chosen to take part in the study will be monitored for social distancing, how close they get to each other when breaking the rules, and other health protocols.

Selected Umrah performers from the Kingdom and abroad will also be asked to complete an online questionnaire as part of the study program.

It is hoped that the findings of the research team will help toward improving the quality of service provided to pilgrims performing Umrah rituals at the Grand Mosque during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.