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Govt, ulema agree over Ramadan congregations with preventive measures

ISLAMABAD: A consultative session of religious scholars with President Arif Alvi in chair on Saturday agreed over 20-point preventive measures against highly contagious novel coronavirus disease during prayers in the month of holy Ramadan, ARY News reported.

The meeting was held to discuss precautionary measures in the holy month to stem the spread of coronavirus.

The president chaired the session with the religious scholars via video link, who attended the consultation from governor houses.

The government in the session in a conditional agreement allowed congregational prayers and Taraveeh in Ramadan with preventive measures.

President Alvi in the meeting said that the people should perform ablutions for prayers from homes and during prayers “a space of two persons should be left between two people offering prayers in a row.”

“The floor of mosques should be washed with chlorine mixed water and prayers offered at uncovered floor in worship places,” it was further agreed.

It was also decided that “no collective Sehri or Iftar arrangements” will be made at the mosques”.

“The government will review its decision if agreed precautions not observed properly or the coronavirus spread rapidly,” President Arif Alvi said in the session.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan in a meeting with Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri had directed the minister to devise a set of precautionary measures to stem the spread of coronavirus in Ramadan congregations.

Prime Minister Khan is expected to meet religious clerics in the next week.

Qadri had earlier met spiritual seat holders (Mashaikh) of various shrines in connection with the meeting with the president.

The Mashaikh while expressing support to the government’s efforts for containing the COVID-19 pandemic had assured their presence in the meeting.

They, however, had sought permission for performing religious rituals after adopting all necessary precautions.

PM Imran Khan recently said that the government has sought clerics’ cooperation to overcome the pandemic and he will soon meet them.

The premier emphasised the need for devising a strategy for the month of Ramadan after holding consultations with the religious scholars.

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