close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
August 10, 2020

SOPs out for Muharram processions, majalis

Karachi

August 10, 2020

Following a consultative process with all stakeholders, including religious scholars, the interior ministry has issued standard operating procedures (SOP) and guidelines for majalis and processions to be held in and after Muharram given the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the notification issued by the interior ministry for all provinces, large scale arrangements for food and beverages pose a risk for the virus spread. “Uniform implementation and enforcement of SOPs and guidelines remain a challenge for the administration and the LEAs.”

The notification lays emphasis on the wearing of masks, social distancing and use of sanitizers during the religious activities. It asks the organisers to only offer essential rituals. The notification asks them to minimise the participating strength, with disallowing children, elderly and other vulnerable groups. Only licensed and traditional processions will be allowed to take place, it says, calling for a live broadcast of “licensed and renowned zakireen” to encourage mourners to stay at home.

For majalis, it says the venue be spacious with proper ventilation arrangements. “Social distancing of six feet is mandatory,” it says, adding the imambargahs were to have marked slots for the attendees similar to what is practised in mosques.

It asks the organisers to ensure thermal scanning of all individuals at the entrance and put up a health desk. People having cough, flu and fever must not be permitted to enter, it adds. It says such majalis at homes should be “discouraged” where SOPs could not be followed. “Elderly above 65, children, co-morbid and relatives of an index person may be sensitised to attend majalis at home through live streaming.” It continues: “Avoid touching, kissing and hugging the devotional objects. Tabarruk (food and drinks) be only distributed in disposable utensils.”

It calls for the cleaning and washing of the floor before and after majalis and disinfecting doors. It discourages “personal prayer mats and cloths and rosaries during majalis” and asks the organisers to display COVID SOPs and precautions at prominent places “both in English and Urdu”.

Same SOPs are to be implemented for the processions. It says participation in a procession “without masks will not be permitted”. It calls for “possible maintaining of social distance during processions through innovative means”. It says the number of participants in a procession “be kept reasonable and procession timings should be curtailed and reduced”.