Malaysia still in talks with Saudi Arabia on vaccine acceptance for Umrah pilgrims, says Khairy

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Malaysia is still in discussions with the Saudi Arabian government on the acceptance of Covid-19 vaccines to allow entry to individuals wanting to perform the Umrah pilgrimage in the kingdom, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“This is because we have found that all the vaccines (used in Malaysia) are safe and effective,” he said at the handing over of the Malaysia Corporate Family contribution at the Health Ministry on Wednesday (Oct 20).

It was previously reported that the Saudi authorities would accept only four types of vaccines, namely Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.

In July, Saudi Arabia announced that individuals fully vaccinated with the Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccine would be accepted into the county on the condition that they received a booster dose of an accepted vaccine.

On a related matter, Khairy said the MySejahtera application would have a new feature to enable individuals needing the booster dose to apply for it from next month so that they can meet entry requirements set by other countries, including Saudi Arabia for performing the Umrah and Haj.

At Wednesday's ceremony, the ministry received 81 electric tilt beds worth RM2mil from Lembaga Tabung Haji through its A’fiat TH 2021 programme to meet the need for additional beds at intensive care units of selected hospitals.

“These beds are also for other vital units that manage non-Covid cases during the transition from the pandemic to endemic phase,” said Khairy, who expressed his appreciation for the contribution from Tabung Haji.

He added that the contribution was from the extended A’fiat TH 2020 programme where Tabung Haji contributed 57 haemodialysis machines worth almost RM2mil to 42 government hospitals. – Bernama

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