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Tableeghi Ijtima 2020: Punjab Issues Guidelines as COVI-19 Situation Worsens

The Punjab government on Friday issued health guidelines for the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020, which will go on till Nov 8 — amid a worsening coronavirus situation in Pakistan, with infections on the rise and the death rate creeping up.

A coronavirus awareness booklet published by Punjab’s Primary & Secondary Health Care Department (P&SHD) contains messages and guidelines on washing hands and wearing face masks to prevent the illness from spreading among the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020 participants.

The Punjab P&SHD, however, has banned the entry of people from abroad.

According to the provincial health department, an estimated 54,000 people are expected to attend the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020. However, organisers have prohibited anyone under the age of 12 and over 55 from attending the event. 

In its coronavirus-related guidelines, it added that participants would not be allowed to shake hands or hug and that the gatherings should be held in open spaces.

The Punjab P&SHD demanded the Amir Jamaat of the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020 prepare a list of all the people and send it to the coordination committee. It further directed people in the gathering to have a stockpile of face masks.

Police security plan for Tableeghi Ijtima 2020

Ahead of the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020, the Lahore Police chalked out a comprehensive security plan for its first phase of the annual event at Raiwind, the deputy inspector-general (DIH) of police for operations, Ashfaq Khan, said.

As per DIG Khan, over 2,000 police officers and officials, four superintendents (SPs), 10 deputy superintendents (DSPs), 28 inspectors and station house officers (SHOs), and 204 upper subordinates would perform duties at the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020.

The cop explained that the Lahore Police’s most important assignment at the moment was to provide maximum security to the Raiwind congregation.

Due to the impending dangers of the second wave of coronavirus, the participation of people would be limited, he said, and they have been requested to observe safety measures, including wearing face masks and maintaining social distancing during the congregation.

The participants, he added, were allowed to enter the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020 premises after a thorough check-up via a three-layer security system which will be managed by Lahore Police. Security officials are being helped by the event’s volunteers in ensuring a complete body search of the participants through metal detectors, electric barriers, and walk-through gates.

Police officials in plainclothes have been deputed at the congregation to keep an eye on possible suspects.

Khan noted that search operations were being conducted at and around the Raiwind congregation on a regular basis to ensure the safety of participants and foil any nefarious designs of any anti-social elements.

The data of citizens and passengers was being checked at houses, hotels, guest houses, bus stops, and railway stations through geo-fencing, biometric verification, and the Hotel Eye application as well.

Checking of citizens and vehicles was underway at Lahore’s entrance and exit points, while parking arrangements were made separately for the facilitation of everyone coming to attend the Tableeghi Ijtima 2020.

The cop mentioned that police desks had been set up for any guidance and help at different points of the Raiwind congregation.

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