RIYADH, February 1 — The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance has issued eight instructions to officials of mosques across the Kingdom after noticing some laxity in implementing precautionary measures and preventive protocols to stem the spread of coronavirus, Okaz/Saudi Gazette has learned.
In a circular, issued by Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, the ministry drew attention to the laxity on the part of some officials of mosques, including preachers, imams and muezzins and some of the worshipers, in adhering to the protocols.
The ministry underlined the need to follow up on the implementation of these procedures and precautions with all accuracy and care. It also instructed the ministry observers to directly report any violation on the part of mosque officials and to take legal action against the violators.
The ministry’s directives included strict implementation of the earlier instructions, such as bringing prayer rug by worshipers; covering mouth and nose by wearing mask, ideally a cloth mask; open mosques one hour before Friday prayer and closing it after 30 minutes.
In addition, the protocol for keeping physical distance of 1.5 meters between two worshipers; continue keeping copies of the Holy Qur’an in appropriate places without allowing worshipers to use them; ensuring good ventilation in mosques and leaving windows and doors open from the time of worshipers’ entry till the end of the prayer.
The protocols also calls for removing all water coolers and refrigerators and any kind of food or drink in the mosque; and urging worshipers to adhere to the precautionary measures and not to allow crowding when entering and leaving the mosque.
In the circular, the ministry urged mosque officials to check to understand all the special preventive measures in mosques through having access to the link on the ministry’s website and to follow up their updates. — Okaz/Saudi Gazette