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Mosques, churches to reopen next week

8 coronavirus cases confirmed on Thursday, including 6 returnees

By JT - May 28,2020 - Last updated at May 28,2020

Awqaf Minister Mohammad Khalaileh, accompanied by President of the Jordan Churches Council Archbishop Christophorus Attallah, speaks during a briefing at the Prime Ministry in Amman on Thursday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Officials on Thursday announced that mosques and churches in the Kingdom will open their doors according to health and public safety measures next week.

Speaking during a press conference at the Prime Ministry on Thursday, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh said that Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz chaired a Cabinet meeting dedicated to discussing the recommendations of the National Anti-Pandemic Committee.

The meeting resulted in a decision to reopen mosques on June 5 according to health and public safety measures, Adaileh said, noting that the regulations for comprehensive curfews will be amended as of June 5 to allow people to go to mosques on foot on Fridays.

The minister also noted that the government is considering other recommendations to reopen more sectors, stressing that this “does not mean that the threat is gone” and that such a decision would result in increased case numbers.

He called on people to wear masks while visiting public and private departments and to adopt public safety measures.

Awqaf Minister Mohammad Khalaileh, also speaking at the conference, said that in the first phase of reopening mosques, only Friday prayers will be allowed to take place according to certain public safety measures that will be announced later, stressing that people must wear masks and take their prayer rugs with them upon visiting the mosques.

Khalaileh called on those aged 50 and above and those with illnesses not to go to mosques. He also said that Friday sermons will not exceed 10 minutes and guides for safety measures will be distributed to mosques for the congregation to follow.

Results of this initial reopening will be evaluated before the authorities open mosques for all prayers, he said. 

Also speaking at the conference, President of the Jordan Churches Council Archbishop Christophorus Attallah announced that churches in the Kingdom will reopen on June 7, calling on the elderly and those who are sick to avoid attending churches.

Meanwhile, Jordan registered eight new coronavirus infections on Thursday, increasing the caseload to 728 since the outbreak of the pandemic, Health Minister Saad Jaber said at the conference.

Jaber noted that the new cases include two truck drivers at the Omari border crossing, one of whom is Jordanian and was transferred to Prince Hamzah Hospital.

Six Jordanians who recently returned to the Kingdom from Russia also tested positive for the virus, the minister added.

A total of 11 people left hospitals on Thursday, increasing the number of recovered patients to 497 and leaving 162 currently receiving treatment, he said, noting that epidemiological investigation teams conducted 3,100 tests nationwide on Thursday.

 

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