Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia closes 39 mosques

Riyadh: Saudi authorities have closed down 39 mosques in the Kingdom after coronavirus infections were suspected among worshippers or those in charge of the sites, state-media reported.

Ministry took the decision

The decision was taken by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Call as part of strict health measures to curb the spread of the highly contagious disease, Gulf news reported on Saturday citing Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya as saying.

Those mosques were being sterilized, Al Arabiya added without specifying their locations.

Last week, Saudi Arabia reopened mosques except in Mecca, in line with a plan to gradually return to normal life.

Precautionary measures

Authorities have put in place a set of precautions for performing group prayers in mosques.

They include opening mosques 15 minutes before the Adhan and close them 10 minutes after the end of the prayer with the interval between the Adhan and the start of the prayer shortened to 10 minutes.

Worshippers are kept apart with a distance of two metres. Children under 15 are barred from going to mosques as a preventive measure.

Mosque classes suspended

Likewise, mosque classes and the Holy Quran memorisation gatherings are suspended.

Worshippers have their temperatures checked before they are allowed into the mosques.

In March, the Kingdom closed the mosques as part of strict measures to curb the spread of the virus.

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