Millions Gather in Pakistan Despite Coronavirus Threat

  • About 200,000 people from all over the country had gathered at camps near Lahore for the five-day gathering on Wednesday.
  • The federal government in Pakistan has not yet implemented nationwide measures to control the potential outbreak.
  • The number of certified Corona patients has reached 14 in Karachi, out of which 2 have returned home.

Thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered in Raiwind for a five-day publicity meeting, ignoring the government’s precautionary measures to prevent the Coronavirus outbreak. Events like this can spread the coronavirus further. Organizers of this annual big gathering announced Thursday that the Coronavirus spread had been reduced due to heavy rain.

Tablighi Jamaat literally the Outreach Society or the Society for Spreading Faith, is a non-political global missionary movement that focuses on urging Muslims to return to practicing Islam as practiced during the lifetime of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and particularly in matters of ritual, dress, and personal behavior.

About 200,000 people from all over the country had gathered at camps near Lahore for the five-day gathering on Wednesday. “Most people have returned to their homes, but thousands are still here,” Ehsanullah, an organizer of the Raiwand gathering said. Several countries have issued guidelines for holding and attending large public gatherings in the wake of emergency calls to reduce the spread of the virus. Some countries, such as France and Italy, have also banned them completely.

The federal government in Pakistan has not yet implemented nationwide measures to control the potential outbreak. All the provincial governments of the country are operating on their own. So the organizers of the religious gathering could have ignored the government’s directive to postpone the event. According to Ehsanullah, “the government asked us to cancel the gathering because of the Coronavirus but our elders and administrators decided that the meeting would continue as planned.”

The annual gathering for Raiwind has been going on for five decades. It was started by religious scholars and during this gathering, special attention is given to the propagation of Islamic teachings. Millions of visitors from all over the country live in the camps during the gathering.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), also known as 2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD), and novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) is a viral respiratory disease caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). It was first detected during the 2019–20 Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

Elsewhere, schools in three of Pakistan’s four provinces are closed until the end of March and authorities are screening travelers coming from overseas. Three more Coronavirus cases have been reported in Pakistan after which the number of confirmed persons has increased to 21 in the country. Healthcare facilities are also considered to be extremely poor in a country with a population of over 20 million.

According to Health Department officials, one of the new cases is from Hyderabad and one from Karachi while the number of Coronavirus affected persons has increased to 15 in Sindh. The number of certified Corona patients has reached 14 in Karachi, out of which 2 have returned home. According to authorities, the first case has been reported in Hyderabad, the affected person has come to Pakistan from Doha, Qatar, via Syria, while the second person has come from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, via Karachi.

The first case of Coronavirus was also revealed in Quetta after 12-year-old Ali Raza, who was undergoing treatment at Fatima Jinnah Hospital in Quetta, was also confirmed. According to the medical superintendent of the hospital (MS), the infected child had arrived in Quetta from the Pakistan-Iran border area of ​​Quetta with the parents, but no deadly virus was confirmed in the child’s parents.

After the rise of the Coronavirus cases, the Health Department has recommended that the ban on public gatherings in Karachi and the educational institution be closed for a longer period. The Sindh Health Department, headed by the Provincial Minister of Health, attended the meeting of the Pakistan Cricket Board. The situation was considered after the increase in the number of Coronavirus cases and some important decisions were taken.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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