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Health Ministry issues 30 guidelines for Ramadan month

The Ministry of Health has issued 30 health guidelines for Muslim devotees to be followed during the prayers and other religious activities at mosques in the month of Ramadan.

Director General of Health Services Dr. Asela Gunawardene has directed the relevant preventive measures to health authorities including the Chief Epidemiologist, Provincial and Regional Directors of Health Services as well as Medical Officers of Health.

As per the guidelines, individuals above the age of 18 years are to be allowed to enter the mosque for prayers.

The Muslim devotees have been appealed to prevent overcrowding outside mosques, entrance, lobbies, waiting areas and prayer halls.

They are urged to maintain a distance of at least one meter between each other at all sides.

Further, the devotees must bring their own prayer mat when attending religious activities at the mosque.

Wearing clean face masks covering the nose and mouth has been mandated. Face masks should be worn securely and properly and should not be touched thereafter without cleaning the hands properly.

The guidelines also urged the devotees not to distribute Kanji – the porridge made during the ramadan season to break the fast – in the mosques.

In addition, the guidelines have advised the devotees not to perform ablution or ‘wudu’ – a purification ritual which requires face, hands, arms and feet to be washed – at the mosques. Instead, they are urged to perform the ritual at home. To perform ablution, a water source through a tap must be used instead of the common water tank (Hawl), the guidelines noted.

After each prayer session, the floors need to be washed or wet-mopped with soap and water or 0.1% of sodium hypochlorite or a general-purpose detergent.

The devotees are advised to stay home if they are having any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath.