Pakistani Officials Deliver Free Food Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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Officials distributed essential food items to needy people in Pakistan’s Sindh province to keep people fed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, March 26.
READ MORE: Several of Pakistan’s senior religious leaders announced Wednesday that they will keep mosques open for group prayers, on a day when the country’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 crossed the 1,000 mark, and most of the country is under a lockdown.

The declaration seemed to counter an announcement from President Arif Alvi that upon his request, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University’s religious clerics’ council issued a fatwa — an Islamic religious edict — that public gatherings, including group prayers in mosques, can be banned in the interest of public health.

The Cairo-based university is one of the oldest seats of Islamic learning, founded almost a century before Oxford University, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

The Pakistani clerics said young children, old people, those who were sick or taking care of the sick could stay home. They also guided their followers to install sanitizers at the entrances of mosques, and advised more cleanliness.