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Violation of SOPs for mosques aggravates virus situation in KP

Violation of SOPs for mosques aggravates virus situation in KP

PESHAWAR: The brazen violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) set for mosques led to critical situation of Covid-19 in the province, according to official reports.

The reports informed provincial government that if the practice was allowed unchecked, it was likely to further exacerbate an already grim situation.

Details available with Dawn show that a presentation made to the provincial government termed the situation “critical” as cases were continued to rise alarmingly.

The presentation also contained photographic evidence of brazen violations of SOPs for mosques during Taraweeh and Friday prayers all over the province including some of the largest mosques of the provincial capital.

In the photographs, the worshippers could be seen standing shoulders to shoulder in violation of the SOPs. The document states that on April 24, nearly 650 people gathered at Jamia Masjid Qasim Ali Khan, the mosque where unofficial Ruet-i-Hilal committee headed by Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai is based.

Govt asked to take prayer leaders into confidence and enforce SOPs strictly

Another mighty gathering in provincial capital took place at Jamia Masjid Umer Farooq in Hayatabad, where about 500 people turned up for Friday prayers.

The presentation, which covered the number of cases till April 26, said that provincial capital accounted for nearly 35 per cent of positive cases from all over the province.

It said that the death ratio in the provincial capital was also high and stood at 8.75 per cent. It said that positive cases in the province were 14.9 per cent while the ratio of deaths stood at 34 per cent. KP’s death ratio of 5.19 per cent was the highest in the country as compared to national average of 2.1 per cent.

Detailing the violations of mosques SOPs all over the province, the document noted that about 1,000 people gathered on the same Friday at Andorn Bazaar Mosque in Jamrud area of Khyber tribal district.

Nearly 1,800 worshippers gathered at Teshil Bazaar Mosque in Shabqadar area of Charsadda district, 1,000 at Masjid Madina Jehangira in Nowshera, 500 at Sheen Masjid Khawazakhela in Swat, 700 at College Mosque Swari in Buner, 1100 at Shah Ismail Mosque in Balakot, 1,000 at Abdullah Bin Masood Mosque in Kohat, 2,300 at Mushti Mela Mosque in Orakzai, 1,000 at Jmaia Masjid Hussain in Lower Kurram, 2,500 at Jamia Masjid Jafar Khan in Bannu and 1,000 gathered at Masjid Paharpur in Dera Ismail Khan.

It stated that at least 200 people turned up for Taraweeh at Usmania Mosque in Soraizai Pagan area of Peshawar on April 24, while about 500 worshippers gathered at Masjid Azhara Mubashara in Phase-7 Hayatabad.

On the same night, 200 people offered prayers at Jamia Masjid Hajiabad Umerzai in Charsadda, another 200 at Jamia Masjid Pabbi in Nowshera, 100 at Masjid Hikmat Khan in Swabi, 1,200 at Masjid Jafar Khan in Bannu, 200 at Masjid Faizan Raza Pezu in Lakki Marwat and 700 at Masjid Mirza Ali Khan in North Waziristan tribal district.

A day later on April 25, nearly 500 people gathered for taraweeh prayers at Sarai Masjid Landi Kotal, 400 at Masjid Maulana Noor Mohammad Wana South Waziristan, 200 at Masjid Taleemul Quran Daggar Buner,

The document asked the provincial government to strictly implement SOPs for mosques and take prayer leaders and mosques committees into confidence. It said that rural areas should not be ignored in that drive.

The document warned that any laxity on the part of people or leniency shown by local administrations all over the province was likely to further aggravate an already grim situation.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2020

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