Mosques will remain open during the holy month of Ramadan, the minister for religious affairs said on Monday. Noor-ul-Haq Qadri, minister religious affairs, said that mosques will be open during the Ramadan under strict implementations of SOPs. Speaking at an event, the minister said that coronavirus cases are on the rise and following all SOPs is necessary. At the Hifz-o-Qirat contest while addressing the audience Qadri said that people should take the virus seriously and take all the precautionary measures at all costs. As Pakistan experiences the deteriorating situation of coronavirus and record rise in the positive cases, government has tightened COVID restrictions. Punjab government announced smart-lockdown in districts having more than 12% positivity rate. In Punjab complete ban on indoor and outdoor weddings will be practiced from 1st April. Restaurants will also be banned from all kinds of indoor and outdoor dining. According to CM, shops and malls will be closed at 6 pm and will be shut for 2 days a week. Earlier announced, educational institutes in selected districts in the country will also remain shut till 11th April keeping in view the spike in prevalence of novel coronavirus. In the third wave of the coronavirus, Lahore is considered the COVID hotspot with the highest positivity rate across the country. Following the reports of persistent surge in the number of Covid-19 deaths and new positive cases in Punjab, the government has imposed smart lockdown in 27 areas of Lahore here on Sunday. According to the notification, the lockdown was imposed in Phase 4, Phase 2, of DHA, Ghazi Road and Walton Road of Cantt, Gulshan Block of Iqbal Town, Chauburji Park area, Bund Road, Wahdat Road, Islampura and Sodiwal. It should be noted that after Prime Minister Imran’s positive tested, President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi has also tested positive. Defense minister Pervaiz Khattak and former finance minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh have also contracted the virus. Keeping in view the alarming situation and the spike in the positive cases, opening mosques during Ramadan has been debatable.