Saudi Arabia not to accept govt’s corona test reports of Pakistani Hajj pilgrims
Religious Affairs Ministry releases schedule of Hajj flights
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The Pakistani Hajj aspirants, besides affording the most expensive Hajj, face another problem as Saudi Arabia has refused to accept their test reports of Covid-19 that had been issued to them by the Pakistani government, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday.
The purpose behind this suggestion was to save the Hajj aspirants from spending money on Covid-19 tests.
But, Saudi Arabia has made Covid-19 reports from six private laboratories mandatory, and, each pilgrim will now have to pay Rs4,250 extra besides the Hajj package.
As many as 81,210 Hajj aspirants from Pakistan will spend a total of Rs345,142,500 apart from the Hajj package.
It has also been mandatory for the Covid-19 test report to be within 72 hours of the flight instead of 48 hours.
According to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Religious Affairs, as many as 32,000 Hajj aspirants will fly to Saudi Arabi through 106 flights, and, 42 flights will be operated from Islamabad under “Route to Mecca” project.
“The Hajj aspirants should get their biometric verification from the nearest Etimad centre as per the ongoing schedule,” he said, adding they should also contact the Hajj Camp to get the required vaccines, identity pendant, passport, Hajj visa, ticket, and wrist band.
The Hajj aspirants will have to undergo Covid PCR tests at six Saudi-approved laboratories within 72 hours of the flight.
The booths of approved laboratories have been set up in the Hajj camps to facilitate the Hajj aspirants.
The Hajj aspirants will need a PCR (negative) test certificate for departure to Saudi Arabia.
The Hajj aspirants will have to pay Rs4,250 for the PCR test.
Reporter: Gohar Mehsud