Negri Islamic Affairs Dept dismisses claims of mosque worshippers violating Covid-19 SOP

SEREMBAN: The Negri Sembilan Islamic Affairs Department has rubbished claims that worshippers who turned up at a mosque here to perform Friday prayers had failed to follow Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOP).

State director Datuk Mohd Zaidi Ramli said the number of worshippers who had turned up at Masjid At-Taqwa in Paroi numbered less than 900 although the mosque could accommodate 3,000 people.

He said based on the SOP set by the state authorities, the mosque was allowed to take in 1,200 worshippers for Friday prayers.

"We understand that a clip has gone viral suggesting that the worshippers had failed to comply with the SOP under the movement control order. The number of worshippers who turned up were actually lower than the number allowed under the state SOPs.

"We also had Rela, police as well as department personnel on standby during the prayer session and they made sure the worshippers wore their masks, practised physical distancing and brought their own prayer mats," he said.

Mohd Zaidi said the mosque officials also complied with the SOPs by ensuring that only one gate was opened to allow the worshippers to enter the premises.

The mosque committee had also put up three tents outside the mosque compound to register and take the body temperature of the worshippers.

"As per the SOP, the worshippers were also not allowed to park in the mosque parking area. Since they had to park outside, that is why one could see many cars parked along the road shoulder in the clip," he said.

In the two minute-and-nine second clip, a man in a moving vehicle had questioned why there were hundreds of worshippers outside the mosque for Friday prayers while the state was under the MCO.

The man did the recording while the worshippers were leaving after prayers.

He also claimed some of them did not wear masks and that there were many vehicles and motorcycles parked along the main road causing traffic congestion.

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