JEDDAH: Pilgrims wishing to perform Umrah during Ramadan this year will not have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah.
While answering a query about vaccinations on Twitter, the ministry’s customer service center account said that inoculations are not a requirement yet to get permission for Umrah during Ramadan.
However, the ministry earlier this week issued a circular that requires sectors operating in Hajj and Umrah-related services to vaccinate their entire staff before Ramadan starts on April 12. Workers not vaccinated must provide proof of a negative PCR test result, renewed every seven days at the facility’s expense.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing said that it will intensify inspection tours during Ramadan at gathering places to ensure social distancing.
Authorities have shut down 11 mosques in six regions around the Kingdom after 11 cases of COVID-19 were reported among worshippers.
The Saudi Ministry of Health announced there are 5,255 active COVID-19 cases as 585 had been reported in the past 24 hours. Of the active cases, 693 are in critical condition.
The total number of infections in the Kingdom to date is 390,007.
Of the newly reported cases, 234 were recorded in Riyadh, followed by Makkah (103) and the Eastern Province (110). The regions with the lowest recorded numbers were Najran and Baha with five cases each.
The MoH reported 369 new recoveries, raising the total number to 378,083. The Kingdom’s recovery rate has decreased to 96.9 percent.
Six people died due to complications from COVID-19, which raised the national death toll to 6,669.
Since the launch of the COVID-19 vaccine campaign in the Kingdom last December, the ministry has administered 4.4 million inoculations.
More than 60,000 PCR tests were conducted in the past 24 hours, raising the total number of PCR tests administered in the Kingdom to more than 15 million.