The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allocated Sierra Leone a total of 1585 pilgrims for this year’s pilgrimage to the Muslim Holy land of Makkah. The highest number ever previously allocated to Sierra Leone is 1000. This is the first time the Kingdom is allowing pilgrims from outside the country after easing COVID-19 restrictions imposed in May 2020.
The Kingdom has allocated quotas for pilgrims from all other countries around the world for the 2022 Hajj, which is 1443 of the Islamic Calendar. Out of one million (1,000,000) pilgrims, Nigeria has the highest allocation in Africa with 43,008, while Angola is at the bottom of the list with 23 pilgrims.
Egypt has an allocation of 35,375, while Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country, has the highest number of Hajj pilgrims worldwide with a quota of 100,051. Pakistan has the second-largest number with 81,132 pilgrims and India is third with 79,237 pilgrims. Bangladesh will send the fourth-largest number of pilgrims with a quota of 57,585. The quota allotted for Iran stands at 38,481 while Turkey’s quota is 37,770.
The United States of America has 9504, while Russia and China have 11,318 and 9190 respectively.
The Ministry of Hajj announced earlier that foreign pilgrims constitute 85 percent (850,000) of the total one million pilgrims who will be allowed to perform Hajj this year, while domestic pilgrims’ number is restricted to 150,000.
The Ministry has set certain terms and conditions for the foreign pilgrims for this year’s Hajj. These include not allowing pilgrims above the age of 65 and that all pilgrims are required to take two doses of coronavirus vaccines approved by the Kingdom.
© Abubakarr Bah