Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)


- Aabshar H Quazi

The fate of many pilgrims planning to go on Haj this year is in dilemma as Covaxin vaccinated pilgrims will not be allowed for Haj due to lack of WHO recognitio­n to Covaxin, while Covishield vaccinated pilgrims will have to take both the jabs 14 days prior to their flight.

Mudassar Ahmad (33) of Rawatbhata town in Chittorgar­h is a worried man these days. His father Manzoor Ahmad (55) has been short listed for Haj pilgrimage this year he has received only first jab of Covishield on 23 April and will get second jab after 84 days.

Mudassar says the flights for Haj will depart in June and Haj will be performed in July whereas his father will get the second jab in July so how he will be able go on the pilgrimage.

The Haj pilgrimage may be a distant dream for many pilgrims from the state and country this year due to the stringent Covid-19 norms of the Haj Committee of India (HCI) following the directives from the Saudi Arabian Health Ministry and the Indian Consulate-general in Jeddah.

When asked, State Haj Committee CEO Mahmood Ali Khan admitted that those pilgrims who have taken Covaxin shots will not be able to fly to Saudi Arabia as Covaxin has not received WHO approval.

“Even those Haj pilgrims who have taken 1 shot of Covishield in April-may and are waiting for their second dose will not be able to go on Haj pilgrimage since the time interval between first dose and second dose has been increased from 28 days to 84 days,” he said.

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