Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan had already implemented the restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday joined the rest of the country in limiting the number of people allowed to congregate in mosques during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak to limit the spread of the disease.
A notification issued by provincial authorities states that after seeking input from religious leaders and scholars from all schools of thought, it was decided that the government could—for medical reasons—impose any restrictions it deemed appropriate on mass prayers.
“In pursuance of the emergency already declared… only five or less people designated for masjid shall offer prayers by jamaat… the general public will offer their prayers at their respective homes,” read the notification. It said the order would go into effect immediately and would remain in place until further directions were issued.
Last week, the Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan governments all banned congregational prayers by more than five people in mosques and urged all citizens to offer prayers at homes in the pursuit of social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19.
While some sects have offered opposition, senior ulema have agreed with the decision in light of the coronavirus epidemic that has now infected over 2,000 people in Pakistan and left 26 people dead.
Globally, the virus has now infected more than 858,300 people, with over 42,100 reported deaths. Governments across the world have halted flights, locked down towns and cities and urged people to stay at home. The U.S. now has more confirmed cases than any other country in the world, with 4,000 deaths and more than 188,000 patients.