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ISLAMABAD: As there is no let up in the Covid-19 cases in the country, President Arif Alvi on Thursday announced that the nation would observe 'Youm-e-Dua' (a day of prayer) today.

While chairing a video conference of clerics to review SOPs for mosques, Alvi said a strategy of a combination of prayers, precautionary measures, and taking care of the weak segments of the society would be pursued in the second wave of the Covid-19.

"Youm-e-Dua will be observed every Friday to seek mercy of Allah almighty to protect us, and our people from the deadly virus. We'd successfully tackled the first wave of pandemic due to the government's effective strategy and the will of the nation and this time again we need to follow the SOPs," he added.

The president said clerics had an important role in spreading awareness about precautionary measures, adding the scholars had also agreed to play their effective role in that regard.

He said the example set by Pakistan in controlling the Covid-19 spread was acknowledged by top world health bodies and the countries in general.

The president pointed to the sharp rise in the number of new coronavirus cases in the country, and recalled that in April, the number of patients was 500 a day, which increased to over 6,400 in June.

He said the current wave in winter had high chances of increasing the number of new cases that required extra precautions.

He said experience had taught that there was a need to change the approach in confronting the Covid-19 virus.

Instead of the previous fight, not fear the virus approach, he added, the new one should be to prevent Covid-19.

President Alvi stressed the role of media to raise awareness among the masses with frequent public service messages on precautions against the coronavirus.

The scholars lauded the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan in effectively presenting the case of Islamophobia and blasphemy at the international level, calling for urgent steps against the trend.

Later, prayers were offered for the safety of the entire nation against the coronavirus pandemic.

The governors and prominent religious clerics from all four provinces were directed to prepare precautionary measures for mosques and present them in the virtual meeting.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar also participated in the session along with 14 scholars, while Federal Interior Minister Ijaz Shah and Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq also attended the conference.

On the other hand, Pakistan has reported 39 deaths in the last 24 hours due to Covid-19 as the number of positive cases has surged to 406,810.

The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 8,205 today. According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 3,499 persons tested positive for the Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan.

Punjab has overtaken Sindh in most number of casualties.

Till now 177,625 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 121,083 in Punjab, 47,919 in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 17,268 in Balochistan, 31,165 in Islamabad, 7,067 in Azad Kashmir, and 4,683 in Gilgit-Baltistan. Besides, 3,091 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 2,968 in Sindh, 1,378 in the KP, 169 in Balochistan, 329 in Islamabad, 173 in Azad Kashmir, and 97 in GB.

Pakistan has so far conducted 5,627,539 coronavirus tests, and 42,904 in the last 24 hours. At least 346,951 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country, whereas, 2,469 patients are in critical condition.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020