S'pore mosques to close for 9 more days until Mar. 26, will implement contact tracing for congregants

Additional measures will also be implemented once they reopen.

Syahindah Ishak | Matthias Ang | March 16, 2020, 05:35 PM

The closure of mosques in Singapore as part of Covid-19 containment efforts will be extended for nine more days until Mar. 26, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) announced on Mar. 16.

The extension means that the mosques will be closed for the duration of Covid-19's incubation period of 14 days, so as to break the cycle of transmission.

It also means Friday prayers on Mar. 20 will also be cancelled.

Mosques will continue the call to prayer however

Mosques will continue the call to prayer (azan) however, and that it will be adapted with a call to the community to perform prayers at home.

The Office of the Mufti will also work with mosques to produce more Islamic learning and talks via online content.

Additional measures implemented after mosques are reopened

In addition, additional measures will also be implemented after mosques are reopened.

These are:

  • Mandatory non-contact temperature screening of all congregants, with the unwell to be turned away,
  • Requiring all congregants to bring their own personal prayers such as prayer mats (sejadah) for everyone and prayer hijabs (telekung) for women,
  • Conducting physical checks to identify congregants who are at risk and to also turn away those who are unwell,
  • Implementing a contact tracing regime for all congregants who enter the mosque, and
  • Banning handshakes and other physical greetings at the end of prayers among congregants.

MUIS accepted MOH's recommendation

MUIS further added that the extension of the closure had been made as it had been in consultation with MOH about the recent religious gathering in Malaysia, which saw over 10,000 people attend an event at a mosque.

As such, the fatwa for the closure of closure of the mosque and suspension of Friday prayers still applies.

Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli stated that MOH has identified 101 people who have attended the gathering in Malaysia and that contact tracing is still ongoing.

Thus far, MOH has identified four of the 10 mosques that the five positive cases from the gathering have gone to.

Top image from MUIS Facebook page