Islamabad, March 26 Pakistan President Arif Alvi has urged religious scholars to take urgent action to halt congregational prayers in the country as a preventive measure againt the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The President made the request on Wednesday after Grand Imam Shaikh of Jamia Al Azhar and Supreme Council in Egypt issued a fatwa regarding the matter, The express Tribune said in a report.
"Countries that have stopped congregational prayers: UAE, Saudia, Iran, Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt," said President Alvi.
The "government of a country can impose a ban on congregational prayers, including regular and Friday prayers, and halt gatherings across the country", read the fatwa.
It urged elderly people to stay indoors and not partake in prayers as in the light of available evidence, these gatherings are a reason for the spread of the virus.
"The coronavirus is more dangerous than rain, therefore a ban can be placed on congregational prayers," it added.
Pakistan has been facing a rise in coronavirus cases. It currently has 1,078 confirmed cases with seven fatalities.
Sindh, where the provincial government is taking stern steps to curb the spread of COVID-19, remains the worst affected with 413 confirmed cases.
( With inputs from IANS )