Sheihk I.C. Quaye, Chairman of the Ghana Hajj Board has expressed uncertainty towards performing Hajj and Umrah prayers in the Grand Mosque in Mecca this year.
“Given the new Visa requirements, from Saudi Arabia, which prescribes the COVID-19 Vaccine as a prerequisite for obtaining a visa for travel, both parties have agreed that the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian pilgrims, who have paid since 2020, to perform the Hajj have not had their first coronavirus jab.”
He said this at a meeting held by the Ghana Hajj Board and the Ghana Hajj Agents Association at the Hajj Village, Accra, to deliberate on the way forward in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Given that all Visitors to Saudi Arabia need to have received both inoculations of the coronavirus and given that there must be an eight-week gap between inoculations, the time constraints clearly make it difficult for Ghanaian pilgrims to comply with the directives from Saudi Arabia.”
Sheikh I.C. Quaye said despite their uncertainty, the Hajj Board would continue to monitor communications from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah Affairs, Saudi Arabia, and update the ummah accordingly.
He said if travelling to Mecca was granted in Ghana, each person would be required to pass through the Saudi Arabia new visa requirement successfully.
He gave the assurance that in the event that the pilgrimage did not come on, prospective pilgrims who would demand refund would be offered full payment.
He said “new visa requirement from Saudi Arabia, was the double dose of COVID-19 vaccine and the other previous health requirements to obtain a visa to travel to Mecca.”
Alhaji Issah Umrah Suleiman, the chairman of the Ghana Hajj Agents Association also assured the pilgrims that, in the event that there was no Hajj this year, refunding of full monies would be made for those who would request for a refund.
Alhaji Suleiman advised all Muslims that despite the absence of 2020 Umrah and Hajj prayers in Mecca, whatsoever happened this year 2021, should be seen as healthy directives from Allah.