Mumbai: Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the Haj pilgrims will have to submit a COVID negative report 72 hours prior for their journey to Saudi Arabia in2021.
The minister announced this on Saturday after holding a meeting with the Haj Committee and other stake-holders. The last date for submission of application for Haj pilgrimage 2021 is Decmber 10.
Naqvi said that the applicants can apply online, off-line or through Haj mobile application as well. "In view of the coronavirus pandemic, we are making it mandatory for all the pilgrims to submit their COVID-19 negative report of RT-PCR test. The date of testing should be 72 hours prior to boarding a flight to Saudi Arabia," he added.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the embarkation points for Haj 2021 has been reduced to ten. Earlier, there were 21 embarkation points across the country. The ten boarding spots for Haj 2021 are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar.
Naqv mentioned that the applications filled for Haj 2020 by women in "without mehram (male companion)" category are valid for Haj 2021 as well. New applications for the said category will also be accepte.
Muslim women applying in "without mehram" category will be exempted from the lottery system.