Shi'ite Muslims reach out to touch a model of a tomb, during the religious procession of Yaum-e-Ali, on the 21st day of the fasting month of Ramadan, marking the anniversary of the death of Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib, son-in-law of Prophet Mohammad, in Lahore, Pakistan May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mohsin Raza

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to impose a ban on “all sorts of processions” on Youm-e-Ali next week, while allowing the Shia community to hold majalis under strict precautionary measures.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the NCOC chaired by Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar. Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed, Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri and SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan also participated in the session.

“Keeping in view the risk factor due to the ongoing surge in COVID cases across the country, particularly in major urban centers, it was decided to ban all sort of processions while holding of Majalis has been permitted under strict COVID SOPs which are already in place for Ramazan ul Mubarik,” said a statement issued by the NCOC.

The high-level forum emphasised the need to engage religious scholars and community leaders at provincial and district levels for implementation of these decisions, according to the statement.

Pakistan reported 4,696 coronavirus infections and 146 new deaths in the past 24 hours. According to the NCOC, at least 48,740 tests were conducted across the country, out of which 4,696 were positive.

The positivity rate is recorded at 9.63 per cent, whereas the number of critical patients stands at 5,490.

The total tally of COVID-19 cases now stands at 825,519, with most cases reported in Punjab. In Punjab, at least 303,182 cases have been reported and 8,500 people have died from the virus so far.


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