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Pakistan, Bangladesh attempt to cease Friday prayers to avert coronavirus spike

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ISLAMABAD/DHAKA: Police in Pakistan will implement a strict lockdown to forestall folks from going to mosques to supply Friday prayers and gasoline an increase in coronavirus an infection, officers stated, after failing to forestall massive congregations final week.

Well being consultants have warned of an epidemic in South Asia, dwelling to a fifth of the world’s inhabitants, that would simply overwhelm its weak public well being programs.

However authorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh, one other Muslim majority nation, and even India have struggled to steer conservative spiritual teams to keep up social distancing so as to curb the unfold of the virus.

The federal government in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh, dwelling to the nation’s largest metropolis, Karachi, will implement a “curfew-like” lockdown for 3 hours starting 12 midday Friday to discourage folks from popping out of their properties for prayers, officers stated.

“Within the higher curiosity of saving lives, a choice to ban the prayer congregations at mosques has been taken following a gathering of clerics from all colleges of thought. Islamic Sharia permits it,” stated Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, Sindh’s minister for native our bodies and knowledge.

Pakistan has reported 2,386 folks contaminated with coronavirus, the very best in south Asia, fuelled by a soar in instances associated to members of Tablighi Jamaat, a Sunni Muslim group, which had deliberate a congregation within the metropolis of Lahore final month.

The assembly was postponed however by then lots of of individuals had already arrived on the premises and so they stayed on.

In Bangladesh, some folks had been anticipated to go to mosques though the federal government appealed to them to remain at dwelling to cut back the chance of infections.

Muslims attend Friday prayer at the Baitul Mokarram National Mosque
Muslims attend Friday prayer on the Baitul Mokarram Nationwide Mosque amid issues concerning the unfold of coronavirus illness (COVID-19) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mar 20, 2020. (Picture: REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain)

Bangladesh’s high spiritual physique, the Islamic Basis, stated aged folks and people with fever or cough, signs just like these of COVID-19, ought to provide prayers at dwelling.

Bangladesh, dwelling to 160 million folks is without doubt one of the world’s most densely populated international locations. To this point it has had 56 instances, together with six deaths.


In India which is underneath a strict three-week lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to rally folks, lots of whom have misplaced their jobs due to the shutdown.

“We aren’t alone. All 1.three billion of us are in it collectively,” he stated in a video message.

The shutdown, which ends on Apr 14 has helped stem an enormous outbreak for now, nevertheless it has introduced India’s economic system to a shuddering halt and left thousands and thousands with out work.

Many are struggling for meals and water and fleeing cities for his or her villages within the hinterland, triggering criticism that the federal government rushed by the shutdown and has harm the poorest probably the most.

“I request all of us 1.three billion Indians to modify off lights in our properties for 9 minutes on Sunday, Apr 5 and to mild a lamp or candle or use your cellular flashlights to mark this combat towards the coronavirus,” Modi stated.

India has had 2,069 confirmed infections, of whom 53 have died, low figures by comparability with the USA, China, Italy and Spain.

READ: COVID-19 an infection price steepens as India searches for 9,000 uncovered to Delhi cluster

READ: India cracks down on Muslim missionary group linked to COVID-19 instances

A fifth of the people who find themselves contaminated with the coronavirus are both members of the Tablighi Jamaat, which held a gathering in a densely packed Delhi neighbourhood final month, or those that got here involved with them later.

Modi stated social distancing should be maintained all through, if India had been to cease an epidemic which may overwhelm its public well being system.

The World Financial institution on Thursday stated it had authorised an preliminary US$1.9 billion in emergency funds for coronavirus response operations in 25 growing international locations, with greater than half the help earmarked to assist combat the fast-spreading illness in India.

“The poorest and most weak international locations will seemingly be hit the toughest,” World Financial institution Group President David Malpas stated in a press release.

Following is knowledge on the unfold of the coronavirus in South Asia, in keeping with authorities figures:

-Pakistan has registered 2,386 instances, together with 34 deaths.

-India has registered 2,069 instances, together with 53 deaths.

-Sri Lanka has registered 151 instances, together with three deaths.

-Afghanistan has registered 273 instances, together with six deaths.

-Bangladesh has registered 56 instances, together with six deaths.

-Maldives has registered 31 instances and no deaths.

-Nepal has registered six instances and no deaths.

-Bhutan has registered 5 instances and no deaths

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