COVID-19: Pakistan to allow mosques prayers in Ramadan

Decision reached after President Alvi meets religious scholars, government officials

Agencies | Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The government here decided to conditionally allow congregational prayers in mosques during the holy month of Ramadan, official media said Saturday.

The decision was made during a meeting that involved religious scholars and top government officials chaired by President Arif Alvi in Islamabad, according to state-run Radio Pakistan.

An agreement was reached to conditionally allow prayers in congregation, and Taraweeh — special night prayers performed during the holy month.

No carpet will laid on the floors of mosques and worshipers will keep a distance of 6 feet apart while praying.

Those coming to the mosque will be required to make ablution at home and wash hands for 20 seconds before going to the facility wearing faces masks.

Children and those older than 50 year of age, including those with conditions like flu, fever and a cough would not be allowed in the mosques for prayers, said Alvi.

The government will have the option to review the decision if precautionary measures are not followed or if there is a sharp increase of coronavirus cases.

Last month, provincial governments banned congregational prayers and other religious gatherings at mosques for an indefinite period in an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus.

Pakistan recorded 7,638 cases with 144 deaths, while 1,832 patients have successfully recovered and discharged from hospitals, according to health officials.