Policemen stop a motorist near a closed mosque on the Friday prayers day in Karachi. AFP
Governments of Asian nations with large Muslim populations have urged people to keep their distance while observing their faith during the fasting month, which gets underway shrouded in fear over the coronavirus.
Last week, Pakistan ceded to pressure from religious leaders and eased restrictions on mosques in time for Ramadan, when congregations tend to swell in number.
Muslims maintain safe distance as they attend Friday prayer in efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Karachi. Reuters
"The Sindh government has decided people should offer Ramadan's Taraweeh (evening) prayers at home," Sindh's Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said in a video message broadcast on local television stations on Friday.
Shah said he was acting on the advice of doctors.
"Our hospitals are overwhelmed with patient inflows; we don't want our health system to collapse," he said. Pakistan, the world’s second most populous Muslim country after Indonesia, has reported more than 11,000 cases of the coronavirus, including 237 deaths. Both the government and experts say the peak for infections is expected to hit in May.
Large gatherings will only worsen the numbers and overwhelm the health care system that has less than 3,000 acute care beds for a population of 220 million people, says Dr Qaiser Sajjad, secretary general of the Pakistan Medical Association and one of the authors of the letter.
Imran and his wife Bushra Bibi tested positive for the coronavirus the other day. The prime minister tested COVID-19 positives two days after receiving the vaccine, triggering a debate on the effectiveness of the jab.
"We expect the first 10,000 doses to come on March 25, and 100,000 next month and 200,000 the month after," said Hassan Abbas, an official of AJ Pharma, CanSino's local partner, which will be importing the vaccine.
The stringent measures will become effective from April 1. All wedding halls and marquees were closed. Indoor or outdoor dining in the marriage halls and restaurants was banned. However, the facility of takeaway would be continued.
Sources familiar with the details of the accident said that it occurred on Monday afternoon, as a result of a malfunction in the bus's brakes, which led it to collide with a bridge, according to local media.
Mariam Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Permanent Representative of the UAE to the Arab League, represented the UAE during the signing ceremony.
They prayed to Allah Almighty to perpetuate the blessings of security and stability, and to revisit the fasting month with more goodness, progress, and prosperity for the UAE and its people.
Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter, “Today, I was briefed, accompanied by my brother, the President of the State, may God preserve him, on the ongoing preparations in the country to host the COP28 Conference of the Parties, in which 70,000 people from 198 countries are expected to participate. Our national team is ready. Protect the planet.”