Saudi Arabia suspends prayers at mosques to stop spread of coronavirus

RIYADH (Agencies): Saudi Arabia will be suspending all Friday and other main prayers at mosques across the Kin-gdom as part of efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus, the SPA reports.

The only prayers permitted to continue outside the home will be at the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina, according to SPA’s report.

“This is considered areligious duty dictated by the Islamic Sharia and its general and specific rules. Everybody knows that this pandemic requires taking every measure of precaution including preventing any form of gathering with no exception,” Mohammed al-Issa, the Secretary General of the Mecca-based Muslim World League, told Al Arabiya.

“The Islamic Sharia advises people whose mouths smell after eating to not go to communal prayer let alone if they were infected with a fatal virus which everybody has been warned about with no exceptions,” al-Issa added.

The decision to suspend prayers at mosques came after a meeting between Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, and the Minister of Health.

Also, Jordan’s King Ab-dullah approved a law that gives the government swe-eping powers to enforce a state of emergency to help it combat the spread of co-ronavirus, state media said.

The king sealed a royal decree that gave the Prime Minister Omar Razzaz extraordinary powers under a defense law enacted in times of war and disasters to enforce curfews, closing businesses and placing restrictions on freedom of movement of people.

In a letter to Razzaz, the monarch said he approved the law to help combat the virus without infringing on citizens political and civil rights.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince receives call from Macron: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman has received a phone call from French President Macron to discuss the latest international efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“During the call, they discussed the developments taking place in the world in light of the spread of the new “corona” epidemic and reviewed its most prominent repercussions on the global economy,” SPA said in its report. Prince Salman stressed on the importance of coordinating efforts to combat the pandemic “within the framework of the G20, which the Kingdom is chairing this year.”