Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony Noor-ul-Haq Qadri said Monday mosques will remain open this Ramazan like they functioned last year — with coronavirus SOPs intact.
Speaking to a Hifz-o-Qirat contest where he was invited as the chief guest, he advised people to follow precautionary measures while performing religious obligations and advised them against dropping their guard against the coronavirus pandemic.
Qadri said the government was engaged in preparations for Hajj. "As soon as the Saudi government announces SOPs, the government will complete preparations in that regard."
He further said that work was underway to make Pakistan akin to the state of Madinah — providing food to the poor and construction of shelters was among the initial steps towards that goal.
In the Hifz-o-Qirat contest, a total of 14 Huffaz and Qurra from out of 48 were selected for the recitation of the Holy Quran during Qayam- ul-Lail in Faisal Masjid during the final nine nights of Ramadan.
The minister's comments came as the third wave of the coronavirus is showing no signs of abating, with the coronavirus positivity ratio crossing 11% on Monday.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data showed that 40,369 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours out of which 4,525 returned positive, taking the national positivity ratio to 11.21%.
The number of new cases takes the national tally of positive coronavirus cases to 659,116. Out of those 264,889 have been reported in Sindh, 215,227 in Punjab, 85,531 in KP, 56,450 in the federal capital, 19,525 in Balochistan, 12,484 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 5,010 in Gilgit Baltistan.
— Additional input from APP