Sindh, Balochistan impose federal government's SOPs on congregations
Provincial governments have begun relaxing lockdowns and some have issued SOPs for Eid. People have begun heading back to their hometowns as train services resumed across the country except Sindh.
Pakistanis gather in huge numbers to pray Jummatul Wida and Eidul Fitr prayers. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, they’ll have to abide by certain rules issued by the government to stem the outbreak.
The Sindh government has allowed religious congregations on Eid and Jummatul Wida to be held with strict SOPs. They’ll take place in open places and parks.
Information Nasir Shah said people above the age of 50 and children, especially those who are ill, will not be allowed to enter mosques. People will pray six feet apart from eachother and discussions after prayers, shaking hands and hugging is prohibited.
Shah added that prayers might be held twice in places where large numbers of people turn up. Worshipers have been asked to bring their own prayer mats and perform ablutions at home. Everyone entering mosques has to wear a face mask.
These instructions are in accordance with the 20-point directive issued by the federal government at the beginning of Ramazan for holding congregational prayers.
The Khyber Pakthunkhwa government has allowed all retails shops and markets to be opened throughout the three days of Eid. Bakeries, food delivery and takeaway services across the province have also been allowed to continue business after 5pm.
Public transport has been restored while barber shops and salons are already open in KP three days a week. The government is expected to decide on Eid congregational prayers in a meeting today (Thursday).
Balochistan is under a smart lockdown till June 2. The provincial government announced on Tuesday that Eid and Jummatul Wida congregations will be held under the same SOPs issued by the federal government.
The elderly and children will not be allowed to enter mosques and worshipers will stand at a six-foot distance. It also decided to increase the number of worship places for Eid prayers so that people don’t pray in close proximity.
Barber shops will remain open, but public transport hasn’t been restored yet. The government has also asked residents of Quetta not to travel out of the city on Eid.
The Punjab government has yet to announce its SOPs regarding Eid and Jummatul Wida congregations. Public transport, including inter and intra-city bus services, shopping malls and retails shops have already resumed business in the province.
As of Thursday, Pakistan has reported nearly 49,000 known COVID-19 cases and 1,000 deaths. Health experts have warned that the infections may surge if people don’t abide by the government SOPs.