In statement, religious scholars say weekly sermons will encourage uptake of vaccines, SOPs to curb spread of pandemic
Preachers across Pakistan have been directed to use their Friday prayer sermons to promote the uptake of coronavirus vaccines and standard operating procedures to curb the spread of the pandemic, the Pakistan Ulema Council announced on Thursday.
“The third wave of coronavirus is dangerous, and Islamic principles have advised following safety measures,” Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, special assistant to the P.M. on Interfaith Harmony, said in a joint statement that was also signed off by religious scholars of all sects. He stressed that all sermons should encourage the public to get vaccinated and adopt preventative measures to curb the spread of the third wave of the novel coronavirus.
Separately, the Religious Affairs Ministry announced that the government would not close any mosques during the upcoming month of Ramzan, adding that they would also be allowed to remain open for taravih prayers.
In its notification, the ministry said the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) had decided to keep mosques open after consultations with the federal minister for religious affairs and all provincial governments. It clarified that mosques would still be subject to a 20-point agreement that had been inked between all stakeholders last year.
According to the 20-point agreement, no prayer mats would be laid down in mosques; if possible, prayers would be conducted in the open-air; no gatherings would be permitted after prayers; people over 50 and children would be barred from congregations; social distancing must be maintained; mosques should be disinfected regularly; ablutions should be performed at home; no sehri or iftar should be offered in mosques; if the situation deteriorates, the agreement can be reviewed by authorities.