Prominent clergymen call for restrictions on parish prayer in Pakistan mosques, which recorded 5,837 coronavirus cases and 96 deaths.
Tuesday's call in a joint statement by clergymen and religious party leaders in the second largest Muslim country in the world said that prayers are essential for Muslims and should be allowed as long as security measures are followed.
Their request came despite Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan saying he would meet with religious scholars to discuss the restrictions on church prayers that were imposed last month and a limit of five people who gather.
"The restriction of three or five people in mosques is not practical. Sick and elderly people should not come to mosques," Mufti Taqi Usmani, one of the best clerics in Pakistan, told a press conference in Karachi.
The restriction of the community has triggered a backlash in Pakistan, with attacks on the police for a second week in a row last Friday as they tried to stop prayers at a mosque in Karachi
A policewoman was injured and in the previous clashes, the police shot in the air to disperse the demonstrators.
Khan announced Tuesday a 14-day extension of a national ban, but said the government would make selective exemptions for key industries to curb rising unemployment.
Health experts have warned that communities are the greatest threat to Pakistan's limited health resources and infrastructure, which will collapse under the weight of a widespread coronavirus outbreak.
Usmani told the press conference that carpets should be removed from mosques, floors should be wiped with disinfectants, disinfectants should be placed at the entrance to the mosques, and people should keep their distance while saying prayers.
The clergy made their statement, although Khan assured that he would meet with religious scholars to work out a collective strategy for the communities at the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, when the visit to the mosques normally increases.
"Mosques are no longer blocked, Friday and Ramadan prayers are held in mosques," another minister Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman told reporters on Tuesday.
Ramadan includes additional night prayers for Muslims.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)