Mosques to follow physical distancing

Syazwani Hj Rosli

Minister of Religious Affairs Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Awang Othman, responding to a question on preventive measures to be conducted following the reopening of the mosques, said the ministry has prepared a video featuring safety measures of the Ministry of Health (MoH).

As the plan to reopen mosques, suraus and religious halls across the nation is scheduled for May 28, concerns were raised during the COVID-19 press conference at the Al-’Afiah Hall of the MoH yesterday.

According to the minister, the safety measures will not only include physical distancing and sanitising but also other measures.

“The situation after mosques reopen will be discussed to see whether we will be able to comply with the requirements of the safety measures,” the minister said.

With regards to the imposition of a quota on the number of congregants in mosques, suraus and religious halls in the country, the minister said the matter will be discussed between the MoH and the Brunei Islamic Religious Council.

On contact tracing app that will soon be released by the MoH for public use prior to the reopening of mosques, suraus and religious halls, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said the app is undergoing approval.

For the app, users will need to fill in an assessment form every day before they are issued a health code that enables them to move within the country based on three-colour ranking codes – green, yellow and red – which will monitor their movement either freely (green), with limitation (yellow) or prohibited (red). “The app will not only be used for mosque purpose but other places too such as restaurants and gyms,” the minister said.

Kampong Pulaie Mosque. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI