Pakistan to lift coronavirus restrictions at mosques during Ramadan

Mosques will be open in Pakistan during Ramadan.
Mosques will be open in Pakistan during Ramadan.(FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)

The Pakistani government announced Sunday that mass gatherings will be allowed at mosques during Ramadan, which begins Thursday, despite the coronavirus shutdown.
Religious leaders had petitioned the government to keep mosques open for the month, even amid fears of virus spreading in such close quarters.
President Arif Alvi said that the relaxing of the restrictions is “conditional,” according to Arab News, and said that 20 guidelines had been mutually agreed with the clerics. Among them are maintaining six feet between worshippers, disinfection of the floors and the removal of traditional carpets, which may house the disease for longer.
“This is a historic moment as everybody has agreed to the 20-point precautions and guidelines,” Alive said. “Now it’s the responsibility of every individual to implement them fully.”
If the guidelines are disregarded, Alvi said he retains the right to shut the mosques down again.
He also warned the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, to stay home anyway.
Almost 8,000 people in Pakistan have tested positive for coronavirus so far, with 159 reported deaths.

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