Travelling for Hajj? You need to be vaccinated first, says Saudi Arabian Health Ministry
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Pilgrims wanting to travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj this year will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Saudi Arabian Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said receiving the Covid-19 vaccine would be a pre-requisite for pilgrims.
According to Arab News, he called on authorities to prepare appropriate manpower in the health sector in Mecca and Medina ahead of the annual Islamic pilgrimage.
Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and can support their family during their absence. This year, it will take place between July 17 and 22.
Last year, due to the continued coronavirus infections worldwide and the depreciation of the rand, local Muslims were unable to attend the annual pilgrimage.
IOL reported about 3430 people in South Africa had been accredited to go on the pilgrimage. Last year, due to the coronavirus, only 1000 pilgrims living in the kingdom were allowed to perform the Hajj.
At the time, Al Jazeera reported some 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world annually flocked to the cities of Mecca and Medina for the week-long ritual which was scheduled to begin in late July.
Globally, 115 101 437 people have tested positive for Covid-19 while 2 552 478 people have died of Covid-19-related illnesses and 90 802 759 people have recovered.