The bar is due to the Saudi government not yet approving Sinopharm shots
The Saudi Government has decided not to let pilgrims vaccinated with China’s Sinopharm to perform Umrah.
The bar is owing to the middle-eastern country not yet approving the Chinese vaccine, reports the media.
Those with Saudi approved vaccines -- Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson -- are only allowed to enter the country.
A meeting led by Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) President Shahadat Hossain Taslim was held to discuss the vaccine concerns and the steep cost of airline tickets.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan, State Minister for Civil Aviation Mahbub Ali, and Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Issa bin Youssef Al-Duhailan were present at the meeting.
During the meeting the HAAB leaders requested international efforts to facilitate those with Sinopharm shots to perform the Umrah.
According to media reports, Bangladesh Embassy in Jeddah's Counselor (Hajj) Zahirul Islam said that the government might take a favourable decision on the Sinopharm vaccine issue shortly.
State Minister Mahbub Ali assured reducing airfares and direct flights to Medina for pilgrims. However, the Saudi Government’s clearance is required over the matter.
The HAAB chief said that even if any of the pilgrims tests positive for Covid-19 before their flight, steps should be taken so that they can book tickets and hotels again and not lose their money.
Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Issa bin Youssef Al-Duhailan, said that the number of Umrah passengers has been limited to 60,000 so far but is likely to be increased later.