Jordan cautions public as mosques reopen amid COVID-19 outbreak

Awqaf Minister Mohammad Khalaileh stressed the importance of disinfection of all mosques before and after use. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 01 June 2020

Jordan cautions public as mosques reopen amid COVID-19 outbreak

  • The circular outlined a number of precautions required as soon as mosques reopen on Friday

DUBAI: Jordan’s Awqaf Ministry has urged local authorities to follow health precautions as mosques reopen, state news agency Petra reported.

The circular outlined a number of precautions required as soon as mosques reopen on Friday – including sanitation procedures, physical distancing rules, and mandatory protective gear for worshippers.

Awqaf Minister Mohammad Khalaileh stressed the importance of disinfection of all mosques before and after use. He said signs must be placed to ensure appropriate distance between worshippers.

He said both mosque personnel and worshippers should wear face masks and gloves and avoid physical contact with people through shaking hands and other customary actions.

Worshippers should bring their own prayer mats, the minister said, adding mosques should not turn on air conditioners and fans and keep doors and windows open during a service.


Pompeo offers help in call to Lebanon PM

Updated 29 min 26 sec ago

Pompeo offers help in call to Lebanon PM

  • US defense secretary meanwhile played down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the explosion was a bomb
  • Pompeo did not describe how the United States would help Lebanon

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered assistance to Lebanon Wednesday after the massive explosion that leveled a huge section of Beirut and left at least 113 dead.
A day after the explosion in the Lebanese capital’s port, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper meanwhile played down President Donald Trump’s suggestion that it was a bomb, supporting instead Lebanese official accounts that it came from 2,750 tons of a volatile fertilizer ingredient, ammonium nitrate, stored in warehouse.
“I’m still getting information on what happened,” Esper told the Aspen Security Forum.
“Most believe that it was an accident as reported,” he said.
In a call with Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Pompeo voiced “our steadfast commitment to assist the Lebanese people as they cope with the aftermath of this terrifying event,” a State Department statement said.
He “further stressed our solidarity with and support for the Lebanese people as they strive for the dignity, prosperity and security they deserve.”
The State Department only referred to a “horrible explosion,” despite Trump’s claim Tuesday that unnamed US generals indicated to him that “It was a bomb of some kind, yes.”
The Pentagon would not confirm Trump’s account.
Pompeo did not describe how the United States would help Lebanon, which was already in a deep economic crisis and seeking more than $20 billion in external funding.
The United States has been hesitant about supporting an aid package from the International Monetary Fund, insisting on reforms and the exclusion of Hezbollah, the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia and political party.