The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) previously announced on 13 Mar that all mosques in Singapore will close for at least 5 days, and all activities including Friday Prayers will be on hold for 14 days.
This was in light of Covid-19 infections that arose from a religious event in Kuala Lumpur last week, and the discovery that patients had visited several mosques in Singapore.
Due to the revelation and ongoing contact tracing, MUIS has extended mosque closure island-wide from 17 to 26 Mar.
This means that devotees will have to miss Friday Prayers again this week, on 20 Mar. You can read MUIS’ full statement via their press release here.
MUIS has been actively assisting the Ministry of Health (MOH) with contact tracing of the patients who visited the mosques, but they acknowledged that this is not enough to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The 5 patients from the religious event visited 10 mosques here, and the authorities worry that there may be many close contacts already at risk of infection.
As such, MUIS has decided to close all mosques in Singapore for 9 more days, until 26 Mar.
This will allow them to complete the full incubation period of 14 days.
Activities are already on hold till 27 Mar, but Friday prayers on 20 Mar will not be occurring.
In their official statement, MUIS highlighted that they will implement stricter precautionary measures once mosques reopen.
Compulsory non-contact temperature checks, where they will turn away those who are unwell
Physical checks to ensure congregants are well, whereby the unwell will also be turned away
Congregants will be required to bring their own personal prayer items
Compulsory full contact tracing for all who enter the mosques
In addition to these measures, more online content will be available for the Muslim community to access, such as talks and learning materials.
The azan or call to prayer will also change to call to devotees to perform prayers at home instead of in congregation at the mosques.
MUIS also reminded Singaporean Muslims that observing good personal hygiene is key to reducing and preventing community spread.
They advise the community to practise social responsibility such as staying at home if unwell, on top of observing social distancing practices and maintaining good personal hygiene.
The extended closure of mosques in Singapore is just a means of reducing the possibility of transmission among the community.
Members of the community still need to do their part to contain the spread by following the regulations set in place and remaining vigilant, no matter how long this goes on.
We hope the Muslim community in Singapore, as well as all other communities, are able to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
It’s inconvenient and annoying at times, but it’s for the greater good.
Featured image adapted from The National.
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