Pakistani doctors: Mosques are infection hotspots

Islamabad, Apr 25 (EFE).- The Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) warned on Saturday that mosques are becoming a major source of transmission for coronavirus after the government ordered their reopening under pressure from clerics for Ramadan.

“Mosques are becoming a major source of virus transmission,” PIMA President Iftikhar Burney told reporters at a press conference.

The doctor said that the end of the health crisis was still a long way off and that the number of infections had doubled in the last six days reaching 12,219 cases and 256 deaths so far.

“At present, more than 200 medical staff, including 100 doctors, have tested coronavirus positive,” he added

Burney warned against myths that circulate over how the virus affects the Asian nation less than other countries due to the youth of its population and the heat.

“We think we are loved by God and therefore epidemics will not reach us, however, such fallacies should be dispelled and the severity of the disease should not be undermined, especially under these critical circumstances,” the doctor added.

Under pressure from powerful clerics, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to lift the ban that had been in place for weeks on collective prayers in religious temples. The lockdown of schools and most businesses remained in place.

The opening of the religious centres has been conditional on complying with a series of security measures, such as the faithful keeping a meter of distance between each other, carrying their own prayer mats and washing at home.

But Burney warned that smart lockdowns do not work in places like Pakistan: “We will not be able to keep people inside their homes under a smart lockdown for a longer period of time.”

The doctor said stricter measures were needed to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

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