"Badshahi Mosque Interior" by Zainab Zia / CC BY-SA 4.0

Coronavirus: Pakistan lifts bans on mosque prayers for Ramadan

Apr 20, 2020

By Ben Farmer

Pakistan has lifted bans on congregational prayers at mosques ahead of Ramadan, prompting alarm from some health experts who are worried about the spread of Covid-19.

The government bowed to calls from influential clerics and religious parties to relax the country’s pandemic precautions, which include a limit of three to five people visiting mosques at any time.

The decision, after meetings between President Arif Alvi and religious leaders, came less than a week before the start of the Ramadan, when attendance at mosques increases.

Government officials and religious leaders agreed to allow communal prayers if mosques signed up to 20 precautions to stop the coronavirus sweeping through their congregations.

The decision was described as a dangerous precedent at odds with many other Muslim nations where mosques were closed.

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