Mosques re-open in Indonesia

JAKARTA (AP) – Muslims in Indonesia’s capital held their first communal Friday prayers as mosques closed by the coronavirus outbreak for nine weeks reopened at half capacity.

Authorities checked temperature and sprayed hand sanitisers at the entrance to the mosques, and police and soldiers ensured the faithful observed social distancing and wore masks.

Worshipers were asked to bring their own prayer rugs and were expected to stay at least one metre apart with no handshaking. Sermons were shortened.

Indonesia has reported 28,818 confirmed cases and 1,721 fatalities.

President Joko Widodo said his administration wants Indonesia’s economy back on track but safe from the virus. The government is gradually deploying 340,000 security personnel to enforce health rules as the country gradually lifts restrictions by the end of July.

Men pray spaced apart amid concerns of coronavirus outbreak during a Friday prayer at At-Tin mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. PHOTO: AP