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Mosques in Greater Male' to reopen for prayer congregations on July 1

Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 June 2020, MVT 14:17
Worshippers practise social distancing as mosques in Greater Male' Region reopen for individual prayers, amid the phased easing of lockdown restrictions. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
30 June 2020, MVT 14:17

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih announced Tuesday that mosques across the Greater Male' Region will be open for prayer congregations from July 1.

This development comes as Maldives prepares to enter the 'new normal' by reopening government offices and schools, and allowing businesses including shops, cafes and restaurants to resume operations and services this Wednesday.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs first suspended prayer congregations in mosques located in the Greater Male' area on March 18 over the COVID-19 pandemic.

A month later, following the detection of the first local transmission of COVID-19 in capital Male' on April 15 and the subsequent lockdown of the Greater Male' Region, the government suspended all congregational prayers in every mosque across Maldives on April 19.

Authorities commenced a phased easing of lockdown restrictions on May 28, with the second phase beginning on June 15, which saw mosques reopened for individual prayers. However, congregations were banned until the president's announcement on Tuesday.

Maldives presently has a total of 2,337 confirmed cases, out of which 397 are active cases of COVID-19. Thus far, the country records 1,927 recoveries and eight fatalities.

On March 12, WHO classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. To date, the new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 10.4 million people and claimed over 508,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 5.6 million people have recovered.

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