LAHORE: The Punjab government has allowed devotees to observe aitekaf during the holy month of Ramadan in only 10 districts having a low positivity rate of COVID-19 cases.
Punjab’s Primary and Secondary Health Department issued a notification that stated to allow the observance of aitekaf in mosques of specific districts. It added that the observance of aitekaf will be permitted in the districts having low COVID-positive cases.
The districts include Sahiwal, Bahawalpur, Chiniot, Gujrat, Okara, Attock, Sialkot, Dera Ghazi Khan, Hafizabad and Jhang. The provincial health department asked the citizens of other provinces to observe aitekaf in their homes where the number of positive cases is high.
The decision was taken following the guidelines of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination due to the increasing number of critical patients and high positivity rate.
In a Twitter message, Commissioner Lahore Captain Retired Muhammad Usman said that aitekaf observance was not allowed in the provincial capital Lahore. He said that the Covid positivity rate was reduced following the cooperation of the citizens, however, the risk of another spike has not ended yet.
He appealed to citizens to prioritise offering prayers while residing at their homes as precaution is a better option. Usman added that the violations of standard operating procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19 will not be tolerated.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Punjab government had imposed a ban on observing Aitekaf at the province-wide mosques in order to contain the spread of coronavirus.