Mosques will open from Thursday: Ministry

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Newsnow Desk: The Ministry of Religious Affairs has announced that all mosques will be open for the public on Thursday after Zohar prayers, after ensuring a few conditions and social distancing measures. The ministry’s Public Relations Officer Anwar Hossain confirmed the matter on Wednesday.

The decision closely follows the announcement by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday (May 4) that district level cottage industries, markets, and small enterprises can be reopened as long as health and safety standards are ensured.

The announcement may come as a surprise to many as the coronavirus crisis is still showing no signs of subsiding. The health and safety guidelines that mosques must adhere include the following:

Mosques are not to use carpets on their floors. The floors themselves must be cleaned with antiseptic five times a day, following each prayer. Worshippers must bring their own jainamaz and hats.

Hand sanitizer or hand washing soap and water must be kept at the front of the mosque so that everyone can wash their hands before entering. Everyone must wear masks while inside the mosque.

Ablution must be performed before going to the mosque. Sunnat prayers must also be performed at home.

Iftar and Sehri cannot be organized in the mosque. Maximum of five persons can perform Itikaf at each mosque.

General guidelines of the health care department, local administration and law enforcement agencies must be followed to ensure public safety.

Mosque management committee must ensure that the guidelines are followed. Failing to ensure adherence may result in legal action against mosque management.

Coronavirus has so far infected 11,719 people and killed 186 people in Bangladesh, according to official reports.

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