Malaysia is going to allow mass prayers before Eid as Coronavirus cases decline

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times claiming the lives of over 290,000 people

Thee Muslim-majority country Malaysia is going to ease a ban on mss prayers inside mosques, starting from Friday, and before this month's Eid festival, the government stated as the nation gradually eases the curbs that have helped the rein in the coronavirus or COVID-19.

The news comes after last week's re-opening o most of the businesses in Malaysia, which has a tally of 6,819 infections along with 112 deaths. This comes before the Eid holidays that ends the fasting month of Ramadan and falls on May 24 this year.

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A view of Kuala Lumpur skyline in Malaysia February. Reuters

The capital, Kuala Lumpur, is among Malaysia's federal territories which will allow prayers by congregations limited to 30 or fewer, said 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 development of Muslims," he told reporters on Thursday, in a reference to smaller prayer sites.

The measure excludes Malaysia's 12 remaining states, which have their own laws on religious matters, but Zulkifli said they were free to adopt similar measures if they wished. Mass prayers have been banned since around mid-March in a partial lockdown after more than 2,300 people were infected in the country's biggest outbreak, following a religious gathering at a mosque attended by about 16,000 people.

Although new daily cases have declined steadily, schools and colleges will stay closed until June 9. Health authorities identified six clusters involving Islamic religious schools, with 635 students and staff testing positive. Four clusters were linked to the March gathering.

(With agency inputs)

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