Covid-19: Pakistan struggles to stop congregational prayers, cases exceed 2,400

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan The cases topped 2,400 on Friday as authorities struggled to stop large congregational gatherings despite a government notification that limited the number of people attending such prayers to five to stem the spread of the deadly disease.

Ministry of health services said that Pakistan 's coronavirus cases jumped to 2,450 on Friday. Thirty five people have died due to the pandemic, while 126 have recovered so far.

It further reported that the largest province of registered 920, Sindh 783, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 311, Balochistan 169, (GB) 190, Islamabad 68 and Pakistan -occupied Kashmir 9 cases.

The number of cases increased steadily in the country despite more than a week of partial confinement to minimize movement of people.

The government had previously issued a notice limiting the number of people to three to five who could attend on Friday and congregational prayers to combat the virus outbreak.

Provincial and federal governments were also trying to convince people to stay away from mosques, but without much success.

The Sindh provincial government announced a total closure from 12 noon to 3 pm to prevent people from attending Friday prayers.

The Sindh local government minister called it a painful decision made with great regret.

However, the mosques will remain open where only three to five people can perform Juma's prayers (Friday), he said.

Dar ul Iftah Jamia Naeemia, an Islamic university in Lahore, issued a fatwa (religious edict) saying that people who are prevented by the government from coming to mosques were not required to pray in the congregation.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is trying to treat the Covid-19 patients through plasma of recovered patients, and the first case in Pakistan , who recovered last month, donated plasma in Karachi.

Previously, Tahir Shamsi, a renowned hematologist at the National Institute of Blood Diseases, said the technique could be used to treat patients and that China also used it effectively.

Meanwhile, Radio Pakistan reported that the World Bank has approved $160 billion emergency aid, including $200 million to Pakistan , over 15 months to help countries deal with the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic.