Muslim-majority Malaysia started from Friday to ease a ban on mass prayers in mosques.
Ahead of this month’s Eid festival, the government also declared it gradually will relax curbs that have helped rein in the pandemic outbreak.
The news follows last week green light of reopening many businesses in Malaysia, which has an amount of 6,819 infected people and 112 deaths. This news comes ahead of the Eid holiday that ends the fasting month of Ramadan this year, which falls on May 24th.
The Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, is among the Malaysian federal territories that will allow prayers by congregations, even if limited to a maximum of 30 people, as affirmed Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri, the religious affairs minister.
“Even though worship in Islam is not confined only to mosques and suraus, it has a profound effect on the spiritual growth of Muslims,” he explained to reporters on Thursday.
Yet, the relaxing measure excludes Malaysia’s 12 remaining states, which have their laws on religious matters, but Zulkifli announced they were free to adopt similar measures if they wished to.
Since mid-March, mass prayers have been officially banned as part of the lockdown plan issued by the government, after more than 2,300 people became Covid-19 patients in the country’s biggest outbreak, following a religious gathering at a mosque attended by more than 16,000 people.
Even though the reported daily cases have declined progressively, however, schools and colleges will stay closed until June 9th.
Health authorities indeed acknowledged six gathering hotspots involving Islamic religious schools, with 635 students and staff testing positive, four of which were linked to the March gathering.