ISLAMABAD                  -               The violation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) amid COVID-19 outbreak in the majority of mosques in Islamabad is likely to push the capital into a critical situation if the violations continued for the next few days.

Despite the strict orders of the government and frequent warning from the medical experts, the masses in Islamabad are visiting the mosques with less or no precautionary measures and the religious clerics seem helpless to convince the masses to adopt the precautionary measures while coming to mosques.

In a consensus between the government and religious clerics it was decided that children and the people with the age of over 50 years are not supposed to visit the mosques and they should offer the prayers at homes, but still, a huge ratio of worshipers in all the mosques were elderly people with no masks or hand gloves.

It was further witnessed that very few numbers of mosques were having hand sanitizers in their entrances and the majority of mosques were lacking such a facility; however, the carpet in all the mosques were unfolded as per the directives of the government. The local base committee headed by the religious clerics was formed in order to convince the people to follow the directives and adopt all the SOPs fixed by the government in consultation with the government, but all these committees are symbolic and they are yet to play their positive role in convincing the people to adopt the precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, talking to The Nation, a citizen said that they have been offering prayer in mosques since the people were conditionally allowed in mosques after the agreement between the government and religious clerics.

He added that a large number of people were visiting mosques with no or less precautionary measures and there was no one to ask them to follow the directives or stop them from entering the mosques.

On the issue, a prayer leader of a mosque in Sitara Market said that they have been asking the elderly people to offer the prayer at homes but they regularly visit the mosque which is a huge concern for us and also for the Islamabad administration.

He demanded the government to strictly impose the SOPs and ask the elderly people to stay at home otherwise wait for the time when the situation would be out of control.

The Nation repeatedly called the concerned authority in Islamabad administration for their comment but the authority did not respond.