HPA advises getting booster doses before Umrah pilgrimage

Hajj Pilgrimage at the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) in Mecca pre-pandemic | Photo: Mustafa Çiftçi

Malé, Maldives – Health Protection Agency (HPA) on Tuesday advised those who have completed two Covid-19 vaccine doses to administer booster doses before Umrah pilgrimage.

A statement released by HPA stated that Umrah pilgrims who received their Covid-19 second dose six months prior are recommended to get the booster dose two weeks prior to the date of departure to Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage.

While the Maldivian health authorities recommend booster doses before Umrah pilgrimage, Saudi officials have permitted unvaccinated pilgrims and those who have not received all doses to attend and fulfil the minor Hajj ceremony by participating in the rituals held in holy mosques in both Mecca and Medina.

In addition to Umrah pilgrims, HPA also advised the eligible general public to receive their booster shots before the beginning of Ramadan.

The Madives removed the state of public health emergency on 13 March 2022 easing multiple Covid-19 control measures including removing mandatory face masks.

Even as measures are eased, symptomatic people will be tested; positive cases will be isolated and direct contacts will still observe quarantine.