The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has issued the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of coronavirus in majalis and processions during the month of Muharram.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the NCOC directed the organisers to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 SOPs, including maintaining social distancing, mask wearing and thermal screening of the participants while holding mass gatherings.
It also directed the organisers to ensure availability of hand sanitizers and face masks at the venues of the gatherings and avoid holding majalis at homes.
The nerve centre of Covid-19 response has recommended holding mass gatherings in open and ventilated spaces.
The organisers of the gatherings can also avail services of volunteers to ensure implementation on Covid-19 SOPs, it added.
Last month, the NCOC held a special session to work out arrangements for managing the month of Muharramul Haram where ulema from all schools of thought agreed to observe the holy month under strict Covid-19 SOPs.
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A special meeting was held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noor-ul-Haq Qadri on arrangements for Muharram.
The Ulema or religious scholars from Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar attended the meeting while Ulema from other provinces joined the meeting through video link.
The forum participants were apprised of the current situation of coronavirus pandemic in the country, vaccination campaign and the need to follow SOPs during meetings and processions regarding Muharram.
All the participants in the forum agreed that Muharram would be observed with devotion and respect under strict Covid-19 safety protocol and SOPs.
The management of religious gatherings would ensure the implementation of SOPs during the administration of gatherings, processions, and other ceremonies, it added.
(With input from APP)
(This story has been published from The Express Tribune feed, without modifications to the text)