NEW DELHI: The haj committee of India has issued a communication asking all haj aspirants to get two doses of the Covid vaccines before leaving for Saudi Arabia.
Last year, the haj pilgrimage had been called off by the Saudi government for foreigners. This year, the second wave of Covid-19 has already delayed the announcement of the pilgrimage.
The circular issued by committee’s chief executive officer Maqsood Ahmed Khan states: “It is informed that as per health minister of Saudi Arabia and an email from consulate-general of India, Jeddah, pilgrims visiting the kingdom need to get two doses of the vaccine before departure for Saudi Arabia.”
“In case Indian pilgrims perform haj 2021, outgoing flights will start from mid-June. Those who have applied for haj 2021 are advised to take the first dose of the vaccine now on their own, so that at the time of departure, the second dose is also given to them,” said the circular.
Khan clarified that so far, there has been no official communication regarding haj 2021 from the Saudi government. All haj-related processes will be subject to approval of the Saudi authorities. He said even people going on umrah will have to get themselves inoculated.
The Khidmat-e-Hujjaj committee, which imparts training to pilgrims visiting the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, is awaiting confirmation so that it can start the training camps. Committee’s Rafat Baig said that by the end of Ramzan, they hope to get clarity on haj this year. “Due to the pandemic, the overall scenario has changed. We are accordingly gearing up to impart training to people in performing haj while taking precautions here as well as abroad,” said Baig.
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