Pakistan issues new Covid guidelines for Eid ul Azha as cases rise

ISLAMABAD: PakistanThe Covid-19 response authority on Tuesday issued new guidelines with masking and social distancing among the measures for Eid ul Azha as the number of coronavirus cases increased across the country.
Covid cases have seen a spike in Pakistan since mid-June, with officials fearing infections will spread further due to shopping and festivities leading up to Eid ul Azha, which will be celebrated on Sunday. Geo news reported.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Pakistan has so far reported 1,539,275 cases of coronavirus and 30,403 deaths.
Even for you National Institute of Health (NIH), Pakistan reported 653 new infections in the last 24 hours, while the positivity rate was 3.45 percent. No new deaths were recorded during this period.
In a notification, the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) noted that “as a significant religious event/congregation; the Eid ul Azha prayer and qurbani take on greater importance in the current Covid situation in the country”.
According to the guidelines, Eid prayers will be organized in open spaces “under strict Covid protocols”.
In case of compulsion to offer prayers in mosques, all doors and windows must remain open for ventilation, Dawn reports a newspaper.
NCOC also recommended organizing two to three prayers at one place with staggered timings so that maximum number of people can attend it with Covid precautions.
The elderly, the sick, and young children were discouraged from attending the congregation because they were more vulnerable to contagion.
No one will be allowed to enter the mosques without masks. The venue will have separate entry and exit points to avoid ‘clash of people’ and hand sanitiser dispensers will be installed.
The NCOC also instructed mosques to ensure social distancing of at least six feet between worshipers to avoid physical contact. People should also refrain from shaking hands or hugging each other to avoid the chances of transmitting the disease.
Separately, people were encouraged to wash at home and bring their own prayer mats to the mosque.
Also, gathering after prayers is discouraged and people are advised to disperse immediately after the gathering.
The government has encouraged people to collectively opt for ‘qurbani’ (slaughter) this year through public, private and community organizations and has ensured that precautionary measures are implemented, the Dawn report said.

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