Those who wish to perform the Umrah pilgrimage are advised to take the Covid-19 vaccine shot, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Hajj and Umrah Muhammad Saleh Benten has said.

Speaking to the Al-Arabiya channel, Benten said that all the precautionary measures and preventive protocols are being followed to stem the spread of the Covid-19 infection and that is in coordination with the Ministry of Health. Directives such as social distancing, using sanitiser, wearing masks, and following the age limit for the performance of the Umrah rituals will be applied.

The Umrah pilgrimage is “safe”, he added, local media reported.

The remarks came in the wake of the minister receiving the coronavirus vaccine dose in Jeddah. “Anyone who registers to receive coronavirus vaccine through the Sehhaty application and wants to perform Umrah must take the vaccine,” he said.

Saudi Arabia’s health authority approved the registration of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in the kingdom last month, following which the country’s health minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah received a shot.