Saudi Arabia mandates meningitis, flu shots for Bangladeshi Hajj pilgrims

People with comorbidities will not be allowed to perform Hajj

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 21 Feb 2023, 01:40 PM
Updated : 21 Feb 2023, 01:40 PM

Saudi Arabia has mandated vaccines against meningitis and seasonal influenza along with COVID-19 shots for Bangladeshi pilgrims who will perform Hajj in 2023. 

The religious affairs ministry said in a notice on its website that Bangladeshis who have not performed Hajj will be prioritised this year. 

As young as 12-year-olds can travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage. 

People with comorbidities will not be allowed to perform the annual pilgrimage. 

The quota for Hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh is 127,198 this year. 

Under government arrangements, 15,000 pilgrims will travel to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. The rest will travel under private contracts. 

Immigration formalities of Bangladeshi pilgrims will be done at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka under a deal with Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi Arabia said it would remove COVID-19 restrictions for the 2023 Hajj season and host pre-pandemic numbers of pilgrims. 

In 2019, the last year before the pandemic struck, some 2.6 million people performed Hajj. 

The kingdom allowed only limited numbers of its residents in 2020 and 2021 before it welcomed back one million foreign pilgrims in 2022. 

Access was restricted in 2022 to pilgrims aged 18 to 65 who have been fully vaccinated or immunised against the coronavirus and did not suffer from chronic diseases. 

As many as 60,146 pilgrims from Bangladesh were allowed to perform Hajj, a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it, in 2022. 

Hajj season is expected to begin by the end of June 2023. Registration will end on Thursday.