BANGKOK, 17 May 2020:
Aidilfitri prayers will be allowed at mosques in Thailand with strict health guidelines to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.
Sheikul Islam of Thailand, Aziz Phithakkhumphon said since the Covid-19 situation in the kingdom has improved, Aidilfitri prayer will be allowed at mosques located in areas without infected cases (green zones).
However, he said mosque committees must prepare an open area (without air-conditioning) such as the mosque yard, building or school in the mosque compound, or village stadiums for the Aidilfitri prayers.
He said members of the congregation must wear masks, perform ablution at home and to bring their own prayer mats.
“The Aidilfitri prayers must be shortened to 20 minutes,” he said in a statement.
He added that members of the congregation must practice social distancing and good hygiene.
If mosques are not ready to perform Aidilfitri prayers, he advised Muslims to pray at home with only family members participating.
“However, other activities including Aidilfitri feasts at mosques as well as activities involving gatherings should not be held. People should avoid family gatherings as well as visiting family members’ graves.”
Thailand has reported three new Covid-19 cases and zero fatality over the last 24 hours, as the kingdom further eases restrictions and allows shopping malls and department stores to reopen.
The positive case tally now stands at 3,028 and the death toll remains at 56.
Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (spokesman Thaweesilp Wissanuyothin said the three new cases were detected at a state quarantine facility involving Thais students aged 21 to 23 – one who returned from Pakistan and two from Egypt early this month.
“Of the 3,028 Covid-19 cases in Thailand, 1,183 cases were linked to close contact with previous confirmed cases while risk career cluster (284 cases), boxing stadium cluster (276 cases) and Thais returning from abroad (270 cases) and entertainment outlets cluster (226 cases),” he said at a daily briefing today.
To date, 2,856 of those tested positive for Covid-19 have recovered and discharged from hospitals while 116 remain warded.
Thailand today began further easing of restrictions with more businesses and venues reopening – department stores, shopping malls and community malls in Thailand could resume operations between 10am and 8pm but premises such as cinemas, bowling alleys, amusement parks, spas and massage parlours remain closed until further notice.
Restaurants and cafes in office buildings and food courts will be allowed to resume operations although alcohol sales remain banned at the venues. Other businesses now allowed include manicure and pedicure salons, cosmetics and clothing store, electrical appliances, sports equipment and office supply stores.
A check at shopping malls and departments stores in Bangkok indicated sparse crowds, with shoppers having to wear face mask and undergo temperature check before entry.
Thai government today launched a website – “Thai Chana” for contact tracing where shoppers and visitors must register and scan a QR code before entering and leaving the premises.