Delhi’s Jama Masjid on Saturday issued an advisory for worshippers ahead of the reopening of religious places across the country from June 8, for the first time since the imposition of the nationwide lockdown in March to slow down the coronavirus.
The worshippers have been asked to wear protective masks and carry sanitisers with them inside the mosque. Stickers will be put up on the floor and verandahs of the mosque to ensure that people follow physical distancing guidelines.
In a press release, mosque’s Deputy Shahi Imam Syed Shaban Bukhari said that people will have to bring their own mats for offering namaz. “We have decided to discontinue using carpet on which people offer namaz at the mosque,” he said. He added that the mosque’s ‘hauz’, the reservoir where devotees wash themselves before prayers, will remain closed to prevent the spread of infection.
High-risk groups like people above the age of 65 and children younger than 15 have been asked to take proper precautions before coming to the mosque.
On Thursday, the Centre had issued the Standard Operating Procedure for visiting religious and other public places. Masks are mandatory and thermal screening arrangements will be made at the entrance. Very few people will be allowed inside at the same time.
The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 2.36 lakh on Saturday. The cases rose by 9,887 from Friday, in the highest single-day increase so far. India now has 2,36,657 coronavirus cases and 6,642 deaths. It has become the sixth worst-affected country by the pandemic and has overtaken Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.
India is emerging from weeks of shutdown with ‘Unlock 1’. All means of transportation, except metro services and international flights, have opened up. Inter-state movement has also been permitted. From June 8, malls, restaurants and religious places will also be allowed to open.