KARACHI: In the wake of rapid surge in the Covid-19 cases, the Sindh government has banned Taraweeh prayer congregations in mosques during Ramazan, fearing that the novel coronavirus pandemic will spread massively if large gathering are not avoided.
In a late-night video message, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah urged the people to offer the Taraweeh prayers at home. "We have taken the decision after consulting with doctors, medical experts. I request Ulema to cooperate with the government."
Mosques will remain open and Taraweeh prayers will be offered as usual but only the staff will be allowed to participate, he added.
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He said that the top doctors in Karachi had expressed their concerns during a press conference and similar sentiments were shared by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) Punjab today.
CM Shah said that the 15 next days would be crucial and a stricter lockdown would be imposed in the province during the period.
"Even if we were making wrong decisions, Allah will forgive us as our intentions are good," he said, adding that the government is forced to make tough decisions.
He said that shopping malls which were not following the standard operation procedures (SOP) have been shut. "Small traders are cooperating, therefore, they have been allowed to deliver their products to customers but explained that no one would be allowed to visit shops in markets."
The chief minister went on to say that he took the decision after taking President Dr Arif Alvi into confidence.
CM Shah also said that the decision does not deviate from the agreement reached between the federal government and the Ulema about congregational prayers in mosques.
"Agreement allowed the provincial governments to change the decision if the situation appears to worsen."
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah announces lockdown on Friday & announces SOP for Taravih..... pic.twitter.com/GSzaWZB3gJ— CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) April 23, 2020