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Strict adherence to mask-wearing suggested at Muharram gatherings amid COVID-19 outbreak

A policeman stands guard as Shiite Muslims participate in a mourning ritual through the Islamic month of Muharram forward of Ashura ceremonies, in Peshawar, Pakistan, on August 29, 2020. — AFP/file 

The Nationwide Institute of Well being, Islamabad (NIH) has suggested strict adherence to straightforward working procedures (SOPs), together with masks sporting and social distancing throughout Muharram gatherings, as Pakistan continues to stay beneath the grip of COVID-19.

Gatherings and majalis to recollect the Shuhada-e-Karbala (martyrs of Karbala) began throughout the nation after Pakistan sighted the Muharram moon, marking the start of the brand new Islamic yr at the moment (Sunday).

Within the final 24 hours, 661 new instances of coronavirus had been reported when diagnostic checks had been accomplished on 20,080 samples, NIH knowledge confirmed Sunday morning.

The brand new instances pushed the coronavirus positivity price in Pakistan to three.29% and the variety of complete COVID-19 instances to 1,553,386.

In the meantime, the nation reported solely a single dying from COVID-19 in a single day,  NIH stated.

The information confirmed that amongst COVID-19 sufferers, 171 are being handled in essential care items at totally different medical services throughout the nation.

What are the SOPs for Muharram?

NIH has restricted the aged and kids from attending gatherings and majalis throughout Ashura, as the chance of one other outbreak looms with the uptick of instances throughout Pakistan.

The next are pointers for holding gatherings and processions:

  • COVID-19 Customary Working Procedures i.e masks sporting, social distancing and use of sanitizers/ hand washing must be adhered to
  • Organising committees ought to make preparations for all SOPs
  • Zakirs and contributors must be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19
  • Venue for conduct of Majalis must be open and spacious with correct
  • air flow preparations
  • Sporting of masks and upkeep of social distancing is necessary throughout majalis and Processions. Availability of masks and sanitizers/ hand washes
  • Managed participation in response to capability of venues and avoidance of overcrowding
  • Period of majalis and processions must be curtailed
  • Majalis the place SOPs can’t be successfully carried out reminiscent of
  • houses and personal gatherings must be discouraged
  • Aged above 65 years, youngsters and co-morbid could also be sensitized to
  • attend Majalis at residence via dwell streaming
  • Correct preparations for cleansing venues with chlorine earlier than and after the occasions
  • Show of COVID-19 SOPs and precautions at distinguished locations
  • SOPs compliance by using volunteer scouts

Miscellaneous elements

  • Preparations for meals and drinks in spacious and ventilated place
  • Emphasis on use of disposable utensils; desire on pre-packaged containers for distribution of meals
  • Avoiding overcrowding at meals distribution factors/places
  • No handshake and embracing

Areas of focus

A number of the elements meriting mandatory actions on the federal and federating items stage, embrace following:

  • Messaging by non secular clerics for uniform implementation of SOPs /pointers proposed by NCOC
  • Strict enforcement of SOPs by civil administration

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