Vaccination rules for Haj pilgrims announced

Updated 20 July 2017
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Vaccination rules for Haj pilgrims announced

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has issued the vaccination and health requirements for pilgrims applying for Haj visas, according to a Ministry of Health official.
The requirements for this year focus on the likes of the Zika virus, dengue, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS), yellow fever, cholera, meningitis, polio and vaccination against seasonal influenza.
Vaccination against meningitis is mandatory for all local and foreign pilgrims. The flu vaccine is not mandatory but it is desirable to take it considering the climate and susceptibility of pilgrims.
The official advised high-risk patients — those with ailments such as diabetes, hypertension and renal problems — to take the flu vaccine, which will help them perform their Haj and Umrah rituals without problems.
In accordance with the International Health Regulations from 2005, travelers arriving from countries at risk of yellow fever transmission must present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. The life-long certificate is valid from 10 days after the vaccination date.
Aircraft, ships and other means of transportation coming from countries affected by yellow fever are requested to submit a certificate indicating that they applied disinsection in accordance with methods recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Regardless of age and vaccination status, proof of receipt of a dose of oral polio vaccine, or inactivated polio vaccine, within the previous 12 months and at least four weeks prior to departure, is required to apply for an entry visa to Saudi Arabia for travelers arriving from countries including Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
The polio vaccine is also required of pilgrims from states no longer affected by the infectious disease, but which remain vulnerable to reinfection. These include Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Guinea, Laos, Madagascar, Myanmar, Niger, Ukraine, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Dominique Legros, a WHO cholera expert, said in Geneva last week that the Kingdom has taken adequate preventive measures to combat communicable diseases during the annual pilgrimage.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent out circulars to all its missions abroad regarding the rules.


Houthis accused of looting humanitarian aid

A worker unloads aid packages from a Saudi air force cargo plane, at an airfield in the northern province of Marib, Yemen, in this January 22, 2018 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 23 July 2018
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Houthis accused of looting humanitarian aid

  • The Yemen Scholars Association condemned the Houthi militia for looting relief aid in areas under its control

JEDDAH: The Yemen Scholars Association on Saturday blamed the Iranian-backed Houthi militias for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.
The associated accused the Houthis of looting humanitarian aid.
According to the Yemeni scholars, Houthi actions have resulted in the suspension of salaries of hundreds of thousands of employees for nearly two years.
The Association praised the efforts and humanitarian support of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), which provides, directly and indirectly, most of the humanitarian relief support for the Yemeni people.
The Yemen Scholars Association condemned the Houthi militia for looting relief aid in areas under its control.
According to a human rights report, At least 113 people have been tortured to death in detention centers in Yemen run by the Houthis since the coup began
Yemeni Human Rights Minister Mohammed Askar told Arab News that the figures in the report were only estimates and that the real figures were much higher.