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Published: 14 Apr 2022 12:48 AM BdST Updated: 14 Apr 2022 12:48 AM BdST
As many as 57,856 worshippers can travel to Mecca for the annual Islamic ritual this year, State Minister for Religious Affairs Faridul Haque Khan said on Wednesday during an Iftar gathering in Jamalpur.
The ministry’s spokesman Mohammad Anwar Hossain said although the matters have been set, Faridul did not reveal anything about the number of Hajj-goers who can travel when Bangladesh will strike a deal with the Saudi government or what the expenses will be for the gathering.
The Saudi government has cut down visas for Hajj-goers to 100,000 this year, a big reduction from 250,000 before the outbreak of coronavirus.
In 2020, Saudi specified 127,198 visitors eligible to visit Saudi before the pandemic, but the decision was reversed as the authorities there bolted Hajj visits for COVID-19 outbreak. The situation remained the same the following year.
Only 60,000 foreigners residing in Saudi Arabia were eligible to perform Hajj in those two years amid stringent health safety rules.
According to the Saudi government, only people under the age of 65 who completed their [COVID-19] vaccination courses will be eligible for Hajj this year. Everyone must have their COVID negative certificates on them at all times and maintain the health rules strictly.
Bangladeshi government accommodated visits of as many as 2,605 people for Hajj this year, while 51,882 are travelling through private arrangements.
Anwar said, “Registrations are automated, no one can mess with it. Those who are ahead in the queue will get their opportunities earlier.”
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