No guidelines yet, COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for Hajj pilgrims: Officials

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration is yet to announce the mandatory vaccination for the Hajj pilgrims in the ensuing year while the officials of concerned quarters stated pilgrims going for Hajj will have to first get a jab before leaving J-K.

Taking the COVID-19 vaccine shot has been made compulsory for those arriving in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj this year. People who don’t comply with the rule will not be allowed to perform Hajj.

Talking to a local news agency, Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the top administrative officials said that the higher-ups have not issued any specific guidelines for the pilgrims from J-K, but most probably notification will be out soon that since no one will be allowed to move out without getting the anti-COVID-19 jab within J-K which is mandatory for the resumption of normal activities.

Dr. Salam Mir, who is the J-K state Executive Officer Hajj, told KNO that as of now no guidelines have been issued for the pilgrims. “No guidelines have been issued as of now but it will be done mandatorily and no one will be allowed to leave J-K for Hajj pilgrimage without vaccination here as well,” he said.

Dr. Salam said that there is no communication from their end soon as “we get any call preparations will be made.”

“Vaccination will be done here first before allowing Hajj pilgrims to proceed on the journey,” he said.

He informed that new pilgrims will be going to perform Hajj and already 8,000 forms have been received. “The vaccination will start soon,” he said.

The state immunization officer Dr. Qazi Haroon while talking to KNO echoed similar views and stated that no guidelines have been issued by the administration as of now. “There are no specific guidelines for the pilgrims as of now but it’s expected to be announced in coming days since the vaccination is important for all the individuals,” Dr. Haroon said.

Notably, the J-K government has recently started the second phase of vaccination after the successful completion of the first phase covering all the frontline workers including the government forces who remained more exposed to the deadly virus. (KNO)

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