Bangladesh asks Muslims to get COVID vaccine to perform Hajj

The government has asked the Muslims intending to perform Hajj in Saudi Arabia in 2021 to get their shots of the coronavirus vaccine.

Published : 16 March 2021, 09:08 PM
Updated : 16 March 2021, 09:08 PM

A total of 4,833 people aged between 18 and 40, and 55,873 others above 40 years old have registered for the annual pilgrimage, the religion ministry said in a notice on Tuesday.

It has asked the Directorate General of Health Services to ensure full vaccination of these people with two shots by May. Anwar Hossain, a spokesman for the ministry, said the authorities are still unsure whether Saudi Arabia will allow pilgrims from Bangladesh this year.

The ministry has made a list of the people who have registered for Hajj so that they can be sent once the Saudi authorities give the permission.

Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it. Crowds of millions of pilgrims from around the world would likely be a hotbed for virus transmission.

Saudi Arabia has made the vaccine mandatory this year after the kingdom dramatically reduced the number of pilgrims to around 1,000 to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus last year, barring Muslims abroad from the rite for the first time in modern times.