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Libya Adopts COVID-19 Measures for Friday Prayers as Cases Rise

Libya Adopts COVID-19 Measures for Friday Prayers as Cases Rise

Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 - 05:45
A cleric prays in an empty mosque, as Friday prayers were suspended in many countries following the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) (File photo: Reuters)
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat

The Libyan authorities announced adopting a set of new measures for Friday prayers in several mosques to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic.

The decision came as a surprise for many, however, the General Authority of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) of the Government of National Accord (GNA) clarified that it aims to maintain the ritual of holding Friday prayers within certain measures instead of banning it completely.

It also said there should be no more than 12 worshipers at the mosque and the prayers should be broadcast on various media outlets for the public.

Under the new measures, mosques will open their doors at the onset of Friday's prayer call and will close immediately afterward.

The Awqaf notified several mosques to be prepared to hold the prayers, and many started to take precautionary measures like sanitizing prayer rugs, shutting down toilets, and setting a one-meter distance between worshipers.

This comes as the National Center for Disease Control of Libya reported 35 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 762 with 206 recoveries and 21 deaths.

The Center noted that the cases were in various cities around the country with 23 cases in Sabha, four in Tripoli, and three in Benghazi, in addition to one case in each of Misrata, Kikla, Shweref, and Tarhuna.

Also, the medical advisory committee of the interim government announced Monday that six COVID-19 patients from al-Bayda city have recovered.

To combat the pandemic, authorities have also closed the country's borders and schools, banned public gatherings, and imposed a curfew.

Security patrols toured Benghazi to inspect restaurants and ensure they follow the recommended precautionary measures that prevent gathering and stressed the importance of maintaining social distance.

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