Bangladesh has announced that it will allow worshippers to attend prayer congregations in mosques, effective May 7, as the government eased lockdown restrictions and confinement measures, as per local media reports. The worshippers, however, would have to comply with the health safety protocols in order to hold the congregations.
Adhering to the social distancing norms and hygiene rules to stem the spread of COVID-19, the mosques would be prohibited from using common carpets for prayers while people would have to carry their own mats to offer prayers, according to reports. Further, the mosques have been ordered to be disinfected prior to every prayer session and afterward. Several hand-washing installations with soaps and provision of hand sanitizers at the entrances have been made mandatory at the mosques, as per reports. People reportedly have to wear masks and must stand at least 3 feet apart in lines as they offer prayer.
Meanwhile, the mosques have been prohibited from organising the Iftar gatherings or Sehri in the month of Ramadan in the premises. Failure to comply with the orders of the government would result in penalties and legal action against the offender. Also, a maximum of five worshippers for the daily prayers have been allowed by the government at a time, as per local media reports. With over 12,425 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 27 deaths, Bangladesh recorded the highest single-day hit with +706 new cases in the past 24 hours.
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Additional Director General Nasima Sultana was reported saying in a daily online bulletin on COVID-19 that health authorities in Bangladesh have so far conducted 81,434 coronavirus tests. As per reports, the country has extended the nationwide lockdown until May 16 to stem the transmission rate of the disease.
The Ministry of Public Administration announced the government's decision in all local gazette appealing people to strictly follow the health guidelines issued by the Health Service Division, as per media reports. The new relaxed guidelines allowed the Ministries and other affiliated offices to operate while exempting readymade garments, pharmaceutical, and export-oriented industries.
(Image Credit: PTI)