Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, selection process of Haj pilgrims will be done according to complete vaccination with both the doses and guidelines

New Delhi : Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that selection process of Haj pilgrims will be done according to complete vaccination with both the doses and guidelines and criteria to be decided by Indian and Saudi Arabia Governments, keeping in view Corona protocols during the time of Haj 2022.

While chairing Haj Review Meeting in New Delhi today, Shri Naqvi said that Digital Health Card, “E-MASIHA” health facility and “E-luggage pre-tagging”, providing all information regarding accommodation/transportation in Makkah-Madinah, will be provided to all the Haj pilgrims.

Shri Naqvi said that preparations for Haj 2022 have been started keeping in mind the health and corona protocol of Saudi Arabia Government and Government of India. The official announcement of Haj 2022 will be made in the first week of November and along with that the process of online application for Haj will also be started. The entire Haj 2022 process in India will be 100 per cent digital. India sends the second largest number of Haj pilgrims after Indonesia.

The Minister said that arrangements for special training for Haj 2022 regarding Corona protocols and Health and Hygiene are being made in India and Saudi Arabia for the Haj pilgrims. National-International protocol guidelines due to pandemic position will be implemented and followed strictly during Haj 2022.

Naqvi stated that the entire Haj 2022 process will be held according to the necessary guidelines to be issued by the Saudi Arabia Government and the Government of India in view of Corona pandemic to ensure health and well-being of the people in India and Saudi Arabia. Haj 2022 process is being chalked out after deliberations among Ministry of Minority Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Haj Committee of India, Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia and India’s Consul General in Jeddah and other agencies keeping in view all aspects of the pandemic challenges. The arrangements for Haj 2022 are being made under special circumstances with special norms, rules and regulations, eligibility criteria, age restrictions, health and fitness requirements and other relevant conditions of the Saudi Arabia Government amid the Corona pandemic.

He said that the entire travel process for Haj 2022 is being done with significant and important changes in view of the pandemic and its affect. These include accommodation, period of stay of pilgrims, transportation, health and other facilities both in India and Saudi Arabia.

Shri Naqvi said that more than 3000 women had applied for Haj 2020 and 2021 under without “Mehram” (male companion) category. Their applications will be eligible for Haj 2022 also if they want to go to perform Haj 2022. Other women can also apply for Haj 2022 under without “Mehram” category. All the women under without “Mehram” category will be exempted from the lottery system.

The Haj Review Meeting was attended by Secretary, Minority Affairs Ministry Mrs Renuka Kumar, Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Joint Secretary, Minority Affairs Ministry Ms Nigar Fatima, Joint Secretary (Gulf), External Affairs Ministry Shri Vipul, Joint Secretary, Civil Aviation Ministry Shri S K Sharma, Deputy DG, Health Ministry Shri P K Sen, CEO, Haj Committee of India Shri Mohd Yakoob Shekha, India’s Consul General in Jeddah Shri Shahid Alam, Air India Executive Director Shri Melwin D’Silva and other officials.

Expected Haj quota for 2022, Haj Air Charter, Corona protocols, vaccination, medical facilities, health card, transport in Saudi Arabia, Haj deputation of officials, Khadim Ul Hujjaj, Haj training, Embarkation Points and other issues were discussed in the meeting.