Pakistan Mosques full despite the thiard wave of Covid. Schools and restaurants are closed, shops demolish their doors every evening, and soldiers are mobilized to fight the spread of coronavirus – but night after night a faithful flock of Pakistani churches pray.
Concerned about the deadly outbreak of the virus in neighboring India, officials have tightened borders and banned travel during the upcoming Eid holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Saeedullah Shah who is a doctor with the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association Covid-19 task force said that there is so much concern about backlash from religious groups a doctor with the Pakistan Islamic Medical.
“The government is very weak,” he told AFP. “Everything has a middle heart.”
Pakistan has recorded more than 840,000 cases and 18,500 deaths, but with limited testing and the ramshackle health sector, many fear the disease will worsen.
Covid wards in several cities have been flooded or close to capacity for weeks as extreme viral infections have forced cases to record numbers.
But as the government urges the public to follow the “normal operating procedures”, as the virus guidelines are widely known throughout the country, churches are probably in another country.
Maulana Muhammad Iqbal Rizvi – the head of the Markazi Jamia Islamic church in the Rawalpindi city camp – said the faithful were not afraid of anything, and wasted it compared to India.
“Our prayers are different,” he said, and he insisted on limits – at least under his watch.
“Unbelievers and Muslims. Repenting to Allah is our faith; they do not repent, that is why it is so,” he said.
That spirit permeates all levels of society, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday: “In India, people are dying in the streets … Allah has been gracious to us compared to the rest of the world.”
However, he urged caution, adding: “The next two weeks are very important for us, we have to reduce corona cases.”
Earlier this week Shiite Muslims gathered across the country to celebrate the martyrdom of Imam Ali, one of the Prophet Muhammad’s friends.
At a meeting in the capital, the first warning took its toll as masks were removed and participants dressed in black-clad songs and beat their chests in crowded crowds.
Thousands reunited in the eastern city of Lahore, with many devotees beating themselves on the back and beating their backs green.
Haji Shahzad Jaffry said that they are ready to sacrifice our lives, children and families. He said that the disease was there last year, but those who opposed our reunion and mourning were doing it 1,400 years ago.”
Health experts in India say religious gatherings have had a profound effect on what is happening around the world.
But that did not encourage a change in policy or behavior in Pakistan.
Ashfaq Ahmed, who recently returned to Pakistan from Britain, said he was shocked to see the crowds being pressured by the military and ignoring basic warnings such as social abuses.
Ahmed said that It looks like the people here aren’t denying it at all.
Without evidence, Pakistani officials insist that the guidelines be followed.
Imran Siddiqui who is a spokesman for the department of religious affairs said that If there is one place where the Covid-19 Islamic guidelines are followed.
He said that he can take you to the market and take you to a mosque near you and see for yourself that military people are better at following safety procedures.
However, according to a study published by Gallup Pakistan this week, 64 percent of people believe that coronavirus is not as dangerous as it once was.
Despite the warnings – and the death toll – faithful ones continue to flock to prayer.
Sohaul Arshad at the Markazi Jarnia Mosque in Rawalpindi said that the God is kind to them. He also said that If he has sent the disease he is the one who will cure us.