Punjab, Sindh governments limit congregational prayers Nation exhibiting rare harmony, unity in war against coronavirus

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STAFF REPORTER
LAHORE/ KARACHI As the coronavirus confirmed cases have surged past 1100 figure, Pakistan goes through critical times of its history but amid limited medical facilities and financial challenges, a virtual lockdown has already been enforced across country and the federal government and the provincial governments are racing against time to contain the spread of the infectious disease. However, the challenge has also provided a rare opportunity to the nation to get united and wage a collective war against the monster. Coronavirus has now turned into a pandemic, and the diseases do not respect borders, nor religions or ethnicities. As the window of opportunity to contain the spread of coronavirus is getting narrower with each passing day, federal and provincial governments in Pakistan have exhibited a rare show of harmony, unity and solidarity in fight against the pandemic. The latest example is Sindh government offering most share of medical supplies it received from China to other provinces to help them effectively contain the spread of coronavirus. “CM Sindh has decided that out of the 500,000 KN95 masks received from China earlier today [Wednesday], #Sindh will keep 200,000 masks and the remaining will be distributed amongst Punjab, KP, Baluchistan, AJK & GB Governments. Yes together we can,” Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Senator Murtaza Wahab posted on his twitter handle, shortly after Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah receiving a huge consignment of medical supplies donated by Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation of China, at the Karachi airport. An environment of cooperation and unity among federal government, provincial governments as well as different political parties – both on treasury and opposition benches – has developed and country’s civil and military leadership are also on the same page visà-vis fight against coronavirus. It is hoped that through joint and coordinated efforts, the country will soon be able to win the war against coronavirus. The government, after consultation with muftis and ulema, has decided to enforce this odd decision so that coronavirus epidemic could be contained to spread further in the city and other adjoining areas. However, as per government decision, mosques will remain open but only five persons would be allowed to offer Friday and other congregational prayers in the mosques till April 05. After Sindh and Balochistan, the Punjab government on Friday banned congregational prayers in a bid to curb the swiftly increasing cases of coronavirus in country. The provincial government issued the notification after consulting religious scholars and health experts. According to a notification, only three to five mosque staff members (such as the imam and khateeb) are allowed to pray in the mosque. The move has been taken to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan. Earlier on Thursday, the Sindh government announced ban congregational prayers in mosques including Friday prayers in province till April 05