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Monday, July 4, 2022

Nigerian Muslims above 65 years old cannot attend 2022 Hajj, NAHCON declares

National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has announced that Nigerians above the age of 65 will not be allowed to perform the 2022 Hajj which is expected to commence in the last month of the Islamic calendar 1443 AH.

This was disclosed by the commission’s spokesperson, Fatima Usara, citing that the regulation was imposed on all countries around the world by the Saudi Arabian authorities.

According to her, the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health did not only ban people of over 65 years from performing the Hajj, but also asked people termed high-risk pilgrims, categorized as those with severe ailments such as active cancer or organ impairment not to attend.

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“The guideline equally mandates the completion of basic immunization programs before arrival into the Kingdom,” Usara said.

“These immunizations cover Covid-19 vaccination, yellow fever inoculation, and meningococcal meningitis vaccination, received not less than 10 days to arrive in the Kingdom: its certificate should indicate the date the immunization was dispensed.

“The ministry requested evidence of a poliomyelitis vaccine shot administered not less than four weeks to arrival in Saudi Arabia and not over 12 months ago.

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“Notwithstanding the polio vaccination evidence, travelers from countries with known cases of wild polio would be administered one dose of OPV at the entry point (the droplets Nigerians usually receive upon arrival in Saudi Arabia).

“In addition to the presentation of a Covid-19 negative test result done 72 hours before arrival into the Kingdom, the medical team is required to provide isolation centres in Nigeria’s local clinics”.

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The 2022 Hajj is estimated to commence by the 7th of July, 2022 and end by the 12th of July, 2022.

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Hajj and Umrah had earlier in April, announced that 43,008 Nigerians will be allowed to perform the 2022 Hajj.

Since this year’s Hajj will be the first open Hajj since the two Holy Mosques of Mecca and Madinah was shut in 2022 due to COVID-19, pilgrims who could not attend Hajj since 2020 will be eager to attend this year.

With the new regulation restricting Muslims over the age of 65, some pilgrims who were not up to 65 years old as at 2020 but are now over 65 years old in 2022 will be denied the opportunity of attending the spiritual event.

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