Pakistan to reopen Mosques for Ramadan
Arif Alvi, the President of Pakistan, has declared his intention to reopen mosques for Ramadan, allowing congregational and Taraweeh prayers. Some protective measures will remain in force. The news comes as many religious leaders have defied the ban on religious gatherings introduced to curtail the spread of covid-19.
Social distancing will still be expected with sizeable gaps between worshippers. Itikaf is still to be performed at home and no preparation for iftars is to take place in mosques. Where possible prayers will be held outside. Worshippers will be expected to wear masks and refrain from coming into contact with each other. Elderly and vulnerable Muslims are expected to remain at home. The premises will be disinfected. The rules will be enforced by the police.
On Monday, PM Imran Khan held a meeting with several senior imams and reiterated his commitment to reopen places of worship providing social distancing can be maintained.
The death toll from coronavirus in Pakistan stands at 192, according to government statistics. The total number of cases is 9,214.
Concerns about economic stagnation are leading to the gradual lifting of the lockdown restrictions. Medical staff have taken industrial action due to widespread lack of personal protective equipment.