RAWALPINDI: With the shadow of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic looming, all big and small mosques and imambargahs in Rawalpindi have completed preparations to hold five-time prayers and Taraweeh during the fasting month of Ramazan whilst following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) listed by the government.
Taraweeh prayers are expected to commence when the new moon is sighted. During the fasting month, the hustle and bustle in mosques escalate as people prefer to worship five times a day in the mosques instead of at their homes. Congregational Taraweeh prayers, considered to be the essence of the Ramazan, are also offered in huge numbers.
However, owing to fears of Covid-19, the government has devised an SOP for congregational prayers during the holy month. These SOPs prescribe maintaining a distance between worshippers when standing in rows to offer prayers and the installation of walk-through sanitising gates.
Sources in the district administration said that the management of some 2,971 mosques in the district has assured them of having completed preparations per the government’s SOPs.
Police deployed at different mosques for security will also be tasked with ensuring that worshippers follow the requisite SOPs and take all precautionary measures for stopping Covid-19 from spreading. Further, the Auqaf department has been asked to oversee arrangements for prayers as per social distancing guidelines of the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2020.