Islamabad – Zia:
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Sahibzada Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, has said mosques around the country would remain open during the holy month of Ramadan with strict adherence to COVID-19 standard operating procedures.
Pakistan is in the midst of a third wave of the coronavirus and recorded 4,084 new infections in the last 24 hours, with 100 deaths. The South Asian nation of 220 people is the world’s second most populous Muslim country after Indonesia.
Last year after the coronavirus first broke out, a restriction on congregation provoked a backlash, with attacks on police as they attempted to halt prayers at mosques.
Health experts have repeatedly warned that congregations pose the biggest threat to health care resources and infrastructure, which will crumble under the weight of a wide-spread outbreak of the coronavirus.
“Speaking to a Hifz-o-Qirat contest as chief guest, he [Qadri] advised the faithful to follow the precautionary measures while performing the religious obligations sans dropping the guard against the coronavirus pandemic,”, saying the minister guided people to take precautions while performing their religious obligations.
Last year, it was a Ramadan like never before for Muslims across Asia as mosques that would normally be packed for prayers were deserted and in some places locked up as governments enforced measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Ramadan will start in mid April this year.