Coronavirus: Dilemma in Pakistan as distancing, disinfection mark Ramadan start

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Some mosques were closed and others open in Pakistan as opinions differed on whether communal prayers to mark the start of Ramadan on Friday (April 24) should be held or not due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In Sindh province, prayer gatherings were banned but some mosques allowed a limited number of worshipers to come, taking precautions to organize proper distances between people and also to disinfect both mosque and people.

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“As a nation, we have two responsibilities - number one is the respect of state and above all is the commandments of Allah and the holy prophet. Hence, the social distance is the respect for state, and prayer is the order of Allah and the holy prophet. We are carrying out both side by side,” said Tamsheer-ul-Haq Thanvi, member of a mosque committee in Karachi.


Read more: Coronavirus: As Ramadan begins, Asia’s Muslims keep faith and distance

Last week, Pakistan ceded to pressure from religious leaders and eased restrictions on mosques in time for Ramadan, when congregations tend to swell in number but on Friday (April 24) the government extended a countrywide lockdown to May 9.

Pakistan has reported more than 11,000 cases of the coronavirus, including 237 deaths. Both the government and experts say the peak for infections is expected to hit in May.

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