J&K: Over 3,000 more COVID cases; Waqf Board appeals to avoid gatherings

By PTI
SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board on Wednesday appealed to people to avoid gatherings at mosques and shrines, as 3,023 fresh COVID cases were reported in the Union Territory taking the tally to 1,69,077.

The University of Kashmir also decided to postpone all its offline examinations, including for UG and PG courses, till May 15 and close its hostels May 1, a spokesman of the varsity said.

The UT recorded 30 fatalities over the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 2,227, officials said.

Out of the fresh cases, 989 were from the Jammu division and 2,034 from the Kashmir division of the union territory, they said.

The number of active cases has reached 24313 in the union territory, while 1,42,537 patients have recovered so far, the officials said.

Prayers at the historic Jama Masjid (grand mosque) in the heart of the city here were suspended on Wednesday in the wake of the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Anjuman Auqaf Jama Masjid (AAJ) — the managing body of the grand mosque — in a statement said that police officials visited the mosque in the morning asking the management to suspend all congregational prayers as Section 144 was in force in the city from Wednesday.

“In view of the rapid spread of covid-19, although all SOPs were being strictly adhered to during prayers, Anjuman has decided to suspend all congregational prayers at the mosque for the time being for the safety of namazis,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jammu and Kashmir Wakf Board, Mufti Muhammad Farid-ud-din made a fervent appeal to the imams of mosques and shrines affiliated with the Board to permit only a minimum number of people and devotees for prayers.

The CEO requested people to avoid assembling in large numbers during prayer times and play a responsible role in the containment of the virus.

He asked people to pray at home in this deadly pandemic, saying, it was an alarming situation as thousands of persons were testing COVID-19 positive on a daily basis.

He said despite many endeavours by governments across the world, this virus continues to consume precious lives.

In this regard, it is imperative for the people to follow guidelines religiously and cooperate with the administration so that lives can be saved, he added The University of Kashmir has also decided to close its hostels till May 1 in the interest of the safety of the boarders.

The decisions were taken pursuant to a meeting of the varsity’s advisory committee which was convened to deliberate upon the conduct of examinations and the recent directions/orders from the government of J-K in the matter, the spokesman said.