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Hajj ceremony restricted to fully vaccinated pilgrims

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(Last Updated On: October 10, 2021)

Individuals who have received two doses of an approved coronavirus vaccine will be able to perform Umrah and visit the two holy mosques as of October 10, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has said.

The new rule will take effect from 6 am on October 10, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, those exempted from receiving the vaccine according to the Tawakkalna application will not be affected by the directive, Gulf Business reported.

The health status on the Tawakkalna app will be shown immune only for those who received either two doses of Pfizer-BionTech, Oxford-AstraZeneca, or Moderna vaccines, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Those who have been issued permits and are yet to receive their second dose, have been requested to do so 48 hours before the date of the permit to avoid cancellation.

The kingdom’s health ministry had previously said that those who had received two doses of the Sinopharm or Sinovac vaccine would be accepted in Saudi Arabia, provided that they had received a booster shot of a vaccine approved by the kingdom.

On October 9, the kingdom’s health ministry announced 35 new Covid-19 infections and 51 recoveries, bringing the total number of recorded cases to 536,585.

Four deaths were also reported, raising the death toll to 8,743.

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Otunbayeva meets acting head of TVET in Kabul

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) emphasized the need for the inclusion of women and girls in vocational education on Monday in a meeting with Ghulam Haider Shahamat, acting head of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

In this meeting, Roza Otunbayeva said that vocational training is necessary for the economic development of Afghanistan and women and girls should be included.

Shahamat also expressed that technical and vocational education is effective for poverty alleviation and the growth of the country’s economy.

“The Technical Vocational Education and Training has 383 institutes and high schools all over Afghanistan, which operate in 250 districts and have 6850 staff,” said Shahamat.

Meanwhile, some experts say that Afghanistan needs to develop and create job opportunities for everyone, especially women and girls, and all international institutions play a constructive role for Afghanistan’s progress.

“All organizations which work under the framework of the United Nations can have positive roles in Afghanistan,” said Sarah Rahmani, women rights activist.

In this meeting, the head of the United Nations Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) was also present and emphasized on signing an agreement and creating a joint working group between both institutions.

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Afghanistan’s central bank to auction $17 million this week

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) has announced that it will auction $17 million on Wednesday as part of the efforts to stabilize the value of the Afghan currency against foreign currencies.

In a series of tweets on Monday, the Central Bank of Afghanistan asked qualified private banks and exchange companies to participate in the auction.

The winners of the auction are obliged to settle their accounts by the end of the day. As per the announcement, partial settlement of transactions is not allowed and the winners of the auction are obliged to transfer the payable amount to the central bank in cash within a certain time.

This is the second time in a week the central bank is auctioning US dollars to keep the value of Afghani stable.

The exchange rate was 90 AFN to the US dollar on Monday, February 6, 2023. The central bank sold $16 million on Sunday.

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Russia has no plans to close its embassy in Afghanistan, says envoy

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(Last Updated On: February 6, 2023)

Russia has no plans to close its diplomatic mission in Kabul, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov told TASS on Monday.

Earlier, the Al-Arabiya TV channel reported that the authorities of several Arab and Western countries decided to close their diplomatic missions in Kabul because of security threats.

“Such thoughts have not even occurred,” Kabulov said, when asked whether Russia had such plans.

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