Mosques and Imam Bargahs will remain open during Ramadan for five-time congregational prayers and Taraweeh with certain Standard Operating Procedures to prevent spread of Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a joint 20-point declaration issued in consultation with President Dr Arif Alvi and Ulema, carpets or mats will not be laid down in mosques because the virus is airborne and prayers will be offered on clean floors. However, mats can be laid if floor is unpaved.
It said people will be allowed to bring prayer mats from home and gatherings before and after prayer should be avoided. If a mosque or Imam Bargah has an open area or garden it is preferable to conduct prayers there.
The declaration said people over 60 years of age, children and patients with cough and flue should avoid coming to mosques and Imam Bargahs. Ordinary prayers and taraweeh should not be conducted on roads, footpaths and anywhere else than the premises of mosques and Imam Bargahs. Floors of mosques and Imam Bargahs should regularly be washed with chlorinated water.
The joint declaration said there should be a three-foot distance during congregational prayers, while markers should be made on the floors of mosques and Imam Bargahs to guide people about the distance they should keep from others. It is encouraged that people should do ablution at home. People must wear face masks when coming to mosques and avoid handshakes and hugging.
It said that collective Sehar and Iftar in mosques should be avoided. Motkifeen should maintain six-foot distance during Aitikaf. Mosque committees should be in constant contact with the provincial, district governments and police. It was decided that the government can review this policy if it feels that the situation has gone out of control and the number of cases surge during Ramadan and SOPs are not followed in letter and spirit.