LAHORE: The five-day tableeghi ijtima began at Raiwind Tableeghi Markaz amid fears of spread of coronavirus on Wednesday.
Preachers from three categories have been invited to the congregation – those have participated in three-day, 40-day or four-month missions by the markaz. Began at Asr prayers on Wednesday, it will conclude after collective Dua at Fajr prayers on Sunday.
Scholars from within the country as well as from neighbouring India –Maulana Ahmed Laity and Maulana Ibrahim Dewla – will deliver sermons to thousands of faithful.
Punjab government officials say all their pleas for postponing the congregation in view of the threat of coronavirus spread as the participants were coming from Sindh and Balochistan as well, have been rejected by the organisers.
Health Secretary Muhammad Usman tells Dawn that as a precautionary measure his department has set up a five-bed isolation ward equipped with necessary facilities at the Tableeghi Markaz, while Raiwind Hospital administration has been put on alert for allocating more beds in case the number of people suspected to be affected by the virus rises.
According to him, qualified staff has been deployed, while through all publicity means the participants are being reminded to take precautionary measures like avoiding handshakes, frequently sanitizing their hands and immediately seeking medical care in case of suspecting corona virus like symptoms.
Published in Dawn, March 12th, 2020