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Bangladesh restricts gatherings at places of worship

Dhaka, April 7 (IANS) Bangladesh has ordered places of worship, including mosques, to restrict the presence of people gathering for prayers amid the coronavirus pandemic due to fears of community transmission of the disease, a media report said.

Not more than five people can congregate in mosques for prayers, the bdnews24 report said citing a government notice as saying on Monday, responding to broader calls for restrictions on visits to mosques and other places of worship.

The decision came as Bangladesh confirmed 35 new virus cases in a record single-day spike, taking the tally of positive tests to 123. The death toll rose to 12.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs issued an emergency notice on Monday restricting congregations, adding that a maximum of 10 devotees can attend the Friday prayers in mosques.

The government also restricted visits to other places of worship, including Hindu temples.

Legal action will be taken against those who fail to comply with the order, the Ministry said, while urging people of all faiths to continue their prayers at home in order to limit the risk of contagion.

–IANS

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