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Ramadan 2021

 

Saudi Makes Covid Vaccine Mandatory for All Pilgrims before Performing Hajj to Mecca

Saudi Makes Covid Vaccine Mandatory for All Pilgrims before Performing Hajj to Mecca
folder_openMiddle East... access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies

Health authorities in Saudi Arabia made necessary for any Muslim wanting to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca to first provide proof that they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry confirmed the decision in a statement on Tuesday, saying that vaccination would be “the main condition for participation,” after Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah said “compulsory vaccination” would be required for all pilgrims.

All Muslims who can perform Hajj are required to do so at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage is comprised of a five-day series of rituals attended by two million people in and around Mecca, the spiritual home of Islam.

The ministry did not specify whether this year’s Hajj, which is due to begin on the evening of July 17, would exclude pilgrims from outside the kingdom in order to prevent the spread of Covid. Last year’s rituals were limited to just 1,000 pilgrims who lived in Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom began its vaccination program on December 17, with the Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs being approved for use.

So far, Saudi officials say there have been 377,700 cases of coronavirus and the kingdom has reported some 6,500 related fatalities.

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