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Saudi Arabia cancels Hajj for international pilgrims over COVID-19 fears

06:11 PM | 12 Jun, 2021
Saudi Arabia cancels Hajj for international pilgrims over COVID-19 fears

JEDDAH – Saudi Arabia has decided that overseas pilgrims will not be allowed for Hajj 2021 due to COVID-19 fears.

This is for the second consecutive year since the pandemic erupted last year that international pilgrims have been barred from making the pilgrimage. 

Only 60,000 pilgrims aged from 18 to 65 will be allowed to perform the annual pilgrimage this year from citizens and residents, the Saudi Press Agency reported Saturday.

“In light of what the whole world is witnessing from the continuing developments of the coronavirus pandemic and the emergence of new mutations, Hajj registration will be limited to residents and citizens from inside the Kingdom only,” the Saudi Hajj ministry announced on Twitter.

The government has said that only people vaccinated against novel coronavirus will be allowed to perform Hajj. 

The decision is “based on the Kingdom’s constant keenness to enable the guests and visitors at the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque to perform the rituals of Hajj and Umrah,” the ministry said. “The Kingdom puts human health and safety first.”

Normally, millions of Muslims from across the world land in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj – a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime – but the kingdom has put a cap on number of pilgrims to avoid the spread of virus.

In 2020, only up to 10,000 pilgrims had been allowed to perform Hajj as the pandemic was on its peak and experts were struggling for developing vaccine.

Last October, Saudi Arabia relaxed restriction as it opened the Grand Mosque for prayers for the first time in seven months and partially resumed the umrah pilgrimage.

In a day, only 20,000 pilgrims are allowed to perform Umrah  while a total of 60,000 worshippers allowed to perform daily prayers at the mosque.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 20 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remained largely stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 20, 2024 (Tuesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.05 for buying and 282.1 for selling.

On Tuesday, Euro stands at 301 for buying and 304 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.4 for buying, and 355.4 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.55 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.2.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 20 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.05 282.1
Euro EUR 301 304
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.4 355.4
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.55 77.25
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.2 75
Australian Dollar AUD 180 182
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.12 751.12
Canadian Dollar CAD 206.5 208.5
China Yuan CNY 38.84 39.24
Danish Krone DKK 40.24 40.64
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.74 36.09
Indian Rupee INR 3.48 3.59
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 906.33 915.33
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.1 172.1
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 725.75 733.75
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 207
Swedish Korona SEK 26.85 27.15
Swiss Franc CHF 315.64 318.14
Thai Bhat THB 7.93 8.08

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