Coronavirus: Nearly 40 mosques shut again in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi authorities have closed down 39 mosques anew in the kingdom after coronavirus infections were suspected among worshippers or those in charge of the sites, Saudi-owned television Al Arabiya reported.

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.

Those mosques are being sterilized, the television 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.

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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.

Toilets and ablution places are closed with a ban on the distribution of water and food inside mosques. Likewise, mosque classes and the Holy Quran memorisation gatheringsĀ are suspended.

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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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