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Bangladesh: Cleric tests positive for Coronavirus after holding Ramzan prayers for 2 dozen people at Mosque

The Ramzan prayers at the mosque were conducted by the cleric in violation of the emergency notice issued on April 6 by Bangladesh's Ministry of Religious Affairs that barred religious congregation at Mosques in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.

On Sunday, a cleric was diagnosed with the Wuhan Coronavirus after he led Ramazan prayers on Saturday for nearly 24 people at a Mosque in Adadanga village in Magura district, Bangladesh. The local administration is now preparing a list of all those people who attended the prayers at the mosque so that they can be tested for possible symptoms of Coronavirus. Lockdown has also been imposed in the Bagharpara Pashchima village where the cleric lived.

The Ramzan prayers at the mosque were conducted by the cleric in violation of the emergency notice issued on April 6 by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Religious Affairs that barred religious congregation at Mosques in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak. The order allowed a maximum of 10 people to attend Friday Namaaz in mosques.

As of April 27, Bangladesh has reported 145 deaths and 5,913 cases of the Chinese virus infection. The Islamic country had initially announced a nationwide holiday on March 26 for a period of 10 days. With the rising number of cases in the country, the Government was forced to extend the lockdown till May 5.

Pakistan bows down under pressure from Muslim Clerics

On April 18, Pakistani President Arif Alvi announced that restrictions on mosque gatherings will be lifted during the month of Ramzan. The decision was taken following a meeting with political representatives and Islamic clerics. The Imran Khan-led-Government which earlier allowed only a congregation of 5 people at one time in a mosque, owing to the outbreak of the Wuhan Coronavirus, had to give in to the mounting pressure from Islamic preachers.

However, the Government has reiterated the mandatory use of protective masks and adherence to social distancing guidelines during Ramzan prayers. The mosque visitors have been asked to maintain a distance of 2 metres while the administration has been directed to disinfect the mosques every day. Reportedly, the Pakistani Government had warned to tighten the restriction if people were found violating the guidelines.

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