Karachi, March 27 Pakistan's Sindh and Balochistan provinces have banned congregational prayers at mosques in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported on Friday.
Of the 1,193 confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan, Sindh has reported the highest number at 421, while Balochistan has registered 131 infections, reports Dawn news.
On Thursday, the Sindh government announced suspension of congregational prayers at mosques, including Friday congregations, to maintain social distancing.
Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister Barrister Muratza Wahab said the government had made the decision after consultation with clerics of all schools of thought.
"Major decision by the Sindh government. To contain spread of coronavirus, people can no more offer prayers at mosques," he said in a tweet. "Only staff of mosques of maximum five people can offer prayers at mosques."
The provincial Information Ministry said the ban on congregational prayers at mosques would remain in place till April 5.
In Quetta, a late-night notification issued by the Home and Tribal Affairs Department said the Balochistan government had banned Friday prayers across the province at mosques with immediate effect, Dawn news reported.
Mosques will remain open but only five people could perform the prayers, including the prayer leader and four others.
It further said that people would perform all prayers at their homes.
Pakistan has also reported nine coronavirus deaths as of Friday.
( With inputs from IANS )