Christians asked to avoid church congregations in KP

PESHAWAR: The government has asked members of Christian community to offer prayers inside houses as only five or less than five should congregate in churches to ensure social distancing rules for the prevention of Covid-19 pandemic in the province.

A notification issued by relief rehabilitation and settlement department on Wednesday said that the government had already declared emergency in view of the pandemic and therefore the members of Christian community should offer rituals in their homes and only five or less people designated by management, should congregate in a church.

It said that the decision was made after inputs from the religious scholars representing different schools of thoughts. If deemed necessary on medical grounds, restriction on number of people offering prayers and congregation at worship places including churches could be placed, it said.

Meanwhile, the health department has asked the medical teaching institutions and district headquarters hospitals to re-open necessary OPD and elective services in consonance with the directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

On March 31, the health department closed down OPDs and elective services to ensure social distancing as part its preventive strategy against the Covid-19. However, a notification issued by the department on Wednesday ordered the hospitals to start services but abide by social distancing rules establishing proper triage system outside the hospitals or at the entry points and allow limited number of patients and visitors.

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