NCOC plan advocates social distancing, precautions during Ramzan

Govt urges people to keep their distance while observing their faith during the holy month

ISLAMABAD: With the holy month of Ramzan commencing in less than two weeks, the role of national communications strategy for the coronavirus has become pivotal for containing the disease.

In this view, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) issued guidelines to contain the spread of the contagious disease during Ramzan, Radio Pakistan reported.

The government has urged people to keep their distance while observing their faith during the fasting month.

The NCOC asked the administrations of mosques to hold Taraweeh (evening) prayers in the yards.

Mosques have also been asked not to use carpets or rugs. Prayers will be offered on the floor and if people desire, they can bring along prayer mats.

The guidelines call on people to avoid congregating before and after the prayers, also saying that if there is a courtyard in the mosques, prayers will be offered there and not inside the halls.

Similarly, people over the age of 50, adolescent children, and those suffering from seasonal flu, cough, etc. should avoid coming to mosques for prayers, said the authority.

The NCOC further advised people to offer their prayers at homes and ordered that floors of mosques should be disinfected with chlorine solution mixed in water.

“The rows of the praying individuals should be aligned so that there is a distance of six feet between them,” said the press statement.

The NCOC said that mosques should constitute committees to ensure adherence to precautionary measures.

The NCOC has also asked the people to avoid offering prayer on the roads and footpaths. It also barred citizens to hold washing (wudu) in the mosques, adding they should do it at their homes.

The forum said that if the government felt the guidelines are not being implemented in letter and spirit, or the number of cases rise to dangerous levels, it can revise its policy. It further said that it will also reserve the right to change its policy for neighbourhoods severely affected by the disease.

Radio Pakistan reported these guidelines have been issued as per unanimous declaration from President Arif Alvi in consultation with clerics for arrangements for Taraweeh in mosques.

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