Pakistan

NCOC says Covid vaccination mandatory to enter mosques

NCOC says Covid-19 vaccination mandatory to enter mosques

PESHAWAR: The National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) has issued more SOPs for mosques due to rise in Omicron cases and announced that from now onward vaccination will be mandatory to enter mosques or other place of worship.

The 5th wave of coronavirus is spreading fast in the country and 23 more people have died from the deadly virus in the preceding 24 hours. The NCOC informed that 59,343 tests were conducted across Pakistan of which 7678 patients were confirmed to have contracted coronavirus. In Karachi, the country’s largest city, positive cases ratio has claimed by 100% in one week, from 16% to 50%.

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The NCOC meeting on Saturday reviewed the current state of the global epidemic in the country, in which the forum agreed to implement new SOPs in mosques and other places of worship. During the meeting, it was decided that only vaccinated persons will be allowed to enter mosques and other places of worship.

The NCOC has issued the following guidelines for masjids and places of worship in the country:

  • People entering places of worship will be required to wear masks.
  • A social distance of six feet should be ensured during prayers.
  • Prayers mates and carpets should be removed from mosques.
  • Elderly people should offer prayers at home.
  • Wazu should be performed at home
  • Management of mosques should keep doors and windows open for ventilation.
  • Friday’s sermon should be shortened.
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The NCOC has directed that Covid-19 tests in educational institutions should be increased during the next two weeks, especially in major cities. The NCOC has said that educational institutions and areas which have high rates of positive cases will be closed for one week. The provincial administration has been asked to take the decision of closing schools in consultation with health and education department officials.

The NCOC said that the provincial governments should run special vaccination campaigns in schools and ensure 100% vaccination of children above 12 years of age. Earlier, the NCOC had decided to impose a complete ban on food and breakfast in air travel from January 17, 2022. Civil Aviation (CAA) was asked to ensure face masks inside the flights and to implement Covid SOPs at all airports.

The NCOC has issued new restriction for mosques although the head of NCOC Asad Omar has said on 21 January that there was no plan to make vaccination mandatory for enter mosques.

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