Photo used for illustrative purpose.
"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has granted approval for entry of individuals vaccinated with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine starting from Jan.1, 2022," the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of Sputnik V, said in a statement.
The decision, said the fund, "will enable Muslims from all over the world vaccinated with Sputnik V to participate in the Hajj and the Umrah pilgrimages to the holiest sites in the cities of Makkah and Madinah."
Foreign tourists vaccinated with Sputnik will still be required to quarantine for 48 hours and take a PCR test.
Saudi Arabia has joined more than 100 countries accepting visitors vaccinated with Sputnik, the RDIF said, adding that only 15 countries including the United States currently require travellers to be jabbed with vaccines other than Sputnik.
The Hajj — a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lives — typically packs millions of pilgrims into congested religious sites and could be a major source of contagion during the pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak has for a second year forced Saudi authorities to dramatically downsize the Hajj, and just 60,000 fully vaccinated citizens and residents of the kingdom have taken part this year.
The coronavirus has killed more than five million people since emerging in China in December 2019.
Russia registered Sputnik V in August 2020 ahead of large-scale clinical trials, prompting concern among experts over the fast-tracked process. But it was since declared safe and more than 90 percent effective in a report published by leading medical journal The Lancet. But the Russian vaccine has not so far been approved by the World Health Organisation or by the medical authorities of the European Union and the United States.
The companies have sold the vast majority of their doses to rich countries, leaving low-income nations in the lurch, said the People's Vaccine Alliance (PVA), a coalition campaigning for wider access to COVID vaccines...
Member states are struggling to contain a third wave of the epidemic and kick-start vaccine programmes slowed by a shortfall in deliveries, and Britain has warned the bloc against resorting "vaccine nationalism."
Following an EU summit, French President Emmanuel Macron said there was a "new type of world war," adding: "We are looking in particular at Russian and Chinese attacks and attempts to gain influence through the vaccine."
"Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the US, I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw-material exports out of the US, so that vaccine production can ramp up," Poonawalla said on Twitter.
The city’s world-class infrastructure, picturesque resorts, luxury hospitality offerings, services, exceptional track record for safety, and diverse tourism attractions have made it the ideal destination for organising memorable social events.
Under the new criteria, which follow billionaire Elon Musk's purchase of the company in October, Twitter accounts will only be suspended for severe or ongoing and repeat violations of the platform's policies.
Rammas encourages the use of smart channels, reduces the number of visits to DEWA’s Customer Happiness Centres and supports smart adoption at DEWA, which reached 99 percent in 2022.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Green Line Train in Islamabad, the Finance Minister said that he had full faith that Pakistan would progress because it was created in the name of Islam, The Express Tribune reported.