The country has announced new restrictions to be followed in Ramadan amid the surge in infections across Pakistan. This will be the second Ramadan with confined celebrations in the Muslim world as the third influx of the pandemic keeps on seething.

The association leading the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), has issued new guidelines for Ramadan as per which the businesses will stay shut on Saturday and Sunday while on the weekdays market timings will be Sehr to 6 pm. All sorts of indoor and outdoor get-togethers will be prohibited which includes all social, cultural, political, sports events, and other occasions.

All restaurants will be closed for indoor dining, however, outdoor dining and takeaways will be permitted from Iftar till midnight with strict implementation of health guidelines. Taraweeh prayers will be organised in open spaces and worshippers must maintain a safe distance when they attend prayers.

All amusement parks will remain closed but walking and jogging tracks will be open with strict adherence to rules. The work from home policy for 50% of the employees will proceed in Ramadan. There will be a ban on inter-provincial public transport on weekends till April 25 while intercity public transport is allowed to operate at a 50% limit. Meanwhile, the railways will operate at a 70% passenger limit, whereas additional train services to be launched to double the capacity. The authorities would review the guidelines after the initial 10 days of Ramadan.

Numerous in The Country, particularly the elderly, who were longing to begin Ramadan with the traditional spirit, will have to wait for another year as the country continues to battle the pandemic and is struggling to vaccinate its vulnerable population.

The country has not altogether banned prayers in mosques during Ramadan but has restricted the number of people and asked the residents above 50 years and young children to not attend group prayers. People have been advised to abstain from gathering before and after prayers. It is mandatory to wear a mask at the mosque and prayers are encouraged in the open with a distance of 6feet between two worshippers.

These coronavirus guidelines are clear however frequently not completely upheld as numerous individuals report violations almost daily in Pakistan.