The resurgence in Covid-19 cases, which many are calling a second wave, prompted the government to enforce a seven-day lockdown from April 5
Maximum 20 people – including the imam, khatib, muezzin, hafez, khadem – can attend Taraweeh prayers at each mosque during Ramadan amid an upswing in Covid-19 cases and fresh nationwide restrictions.
The instruction will be valid from April 14 and continue until further notice, the Religious Affairs Ministry said in a new set of directives issued on Monday.
No more than 20 devotees will be able to join daily prayers in mosques. Also, the worshippers will have to follow health guidelines and ensure physical distancing while offering Friday prayers at mosques, the ministry said.
Local administrations, law enforcement agencies, Islamic Foundation officials, and the mosque management committees have been asked to implement the directives.
The resurgence in Covid-19 cases, which many are calling a second wave, prompted the government to enforce a seven-day lockdown from April 5.
As the move was ineffective, the government extended the restrictions for two more days and announced to enforce a "strict seven-day lockdown" from April 14.
All modes of public transports, including those of road, river, railway, and air, will remain suspended during this period.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh is seeing a sharp rise in Covid-19 in coronavirus fatalities, breaking its single-day death count record for the third time in as many days on Monday.
The health authorities confirmed 83 deaths in the afternoon, taking fatalities to 9,822, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
Between 8am Sunday and 8am Monday, 7,201 new cases were recorded, pushing up the caseload to 691,957. The infection rate jumped to 20.59% from 19.81% on Sunday.
On April 5, the government asked the Muslim devotees not to arrange iftar gatherings and sehri in mosques during Ramadan to contain the recent surge in Covid-19 infections.
The Religious Affairs Ministry issued new directives in this connection.
The guidelines also include instructions on praying in congregations at mosques.
"The devotees must come to mosques after performing their ablution and Sunnah prayers at home. If they do not do so, they must wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds while performing ablution at mosques," it read.
The ministry said the worshippers, who visit mosques to pray in congregation, must arrive there wearing masks.
Mosque management committees must ensure the availability of handwashing facilities – sanitizers and soap water – at the entrance.
They have also been asked not to use carpets and clean the mosques with disinfectants before the five daily prayers.
"The devotees must bring their prayer mats. Social distancing must be ensured while they stand for prayers" the ministry said. "Children, elderly, sick people, and attendants to the ill must not attend congregations."
Also, the ministry asked local administration, law enforcement, khatib, imam, and mosque committees to ensure the implementation of the said directives.
Local administration and law enforcement will take legal steps if anyone violates the instructions, the ministry said.
On March 28, the Saudi government announced that there would be no iftar gatherings or Aitekaf at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah during Ramadan.
Also, Taraweeh prayers this Ramadan at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah will be shortened to 10 rakats from 20 rakats by order of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.
Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, confirmed that this was following the Covid-19 safety measures put in place to protect worshippers from infection.