With just days left to the beginning of Muharram, one of the biggest events of the Islamic calendar, an ultimate challenge awaits governance and authorities the world over - fighting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The authorities need to remain vigilant while making sure that people are adhering to the prescribed standard operating procedures.

Muslim countries, and the world over, will witness a huge number of processions and gatherings in mourning the martyrs of the battle of Karbala.

The epicenter of the tragedy Karbala, Iraq has already deliberated on the issue and duly apologised with regard to their decision of closing all the roads leading to holy shrine Imam Hussain [AS]  leaving it accessible only to the locals - a measure synonymous to the closure of Makkah in order to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

Since Karbala witnesses volumes of mourners each year, this restriction could lead to a surge in local participation which means that a far greater number of people will be attending their local processions.

In Pakistan, although the required SOPs are being put into effect in order to minimize the threat throughout the month, the past few weeks have shown the utter disregard of the procedures.

With the fatality rate decreasing by every passing day and the rate of new infections gradually curbing, the 10 days of Muharram would prove to be a hurdle and a window of opportunity for both the authorities and locals alike.

Therefore, the world over, each and every individual needs to hold themselves responsible and abide by the restrictive measures provided by WHO and their respective  government.

The World Students Society thanks author, Syed Zain A Rizvi, Karachi.


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