The Saudi government has said that only those vaccinated against the coronavirus will be allowed to perform Umrah from the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. The country’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said in a statement on Monday.
The statement said three categories of people would be considered “safe” to be allowed to perform Umrah. They are those who have already received both doses of the corona vaccine, those who have taken the first dose of the corona at least 14 days ago and those who have recovered from the corona infection. Only these three categories of people will be allowed to perform Umrah and perform prayers in the Holy Mosque of Makkah. In addition, the same rule will apply to entering the Holy Mosque of the city of Medina.
The ministry said the new rules would take effect from the start of the upcoming month of Ramadan. However, it has not been clarified how long this rule will remain in force.
The holy month of Ramadan may begin on April 12 in Saudi Arabia. Coronavirus infections have increased in Saudi Arabia in recent times. And so it is not yet certain whether this rule will be enforced until the next Hajj season.
Note that the holy Umrah can be performed at any time of the year. As part of this, a Muslim performed certain religious rites in Mecca and Medina. In 2019, one crore 90 lakh people performed Umrah. But due to the coronavirus epidemic, Saudi Arabia suspended Umrah in March last year. The country later allowed a limited number of Umrahs in October of the same year.
More than 393,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Saudi Arabia so far. Seven thousand people have died. According to the Saudi Ministry of Health, more than 5 million people in the country have been vaccinated against coronavirus so far. The Middle Eastern country has a population of over 34 million.
Tests at a hospital in the Japanese capital, Tokyo, last month identified new strains of corona in about 70 percent of patients. Whose name is ‘E484A’. Scientists also call it ‘eic’. Japan is concerned about this new type of corona. Scientists say that this type of corona modification is reducing the immunity of the vaccine.
Japan’s NHK news agency quoted Reuters as saying on Sunday.
In March, 10 out of 14 corona-positive cohorts were found at Tokyo Medical and Dental University Medical Hospital, the report said.
In the two months to March, 12 out of 36 corona patients were diagnosed with the disease, the NHK report said. None of them have traveled abroad recently or come in contact with those who have traveled abroad.
Japan is worried about a new wave of corona infections before the Summer Olympics in July. Health experts in the country have expressed special concern over the spread of the variant type as immunization has not started among the general population.