COVID-19: Bangladesh makes masks mandatory at places of worship

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Dhaka, Nov 9 (PTI) Bangladesh has made wearing of masks mandatory at places of worship, including mosques, churches and temples, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic as the total number of cases crossed 420,000 in the country, according to a media report.

The Religious Affairs Ministry, in a notice, said that people have become careless in their use of masks despite various guidelines issued by the ministry to wear them at all religious sites, the Dhaka Tribune reported on Sunday.

“So, fresh instructions have been issued to ensure social distancing, proper health guidelines, and the wearing of masks at religious sites,' the notice said.

All places of worship including mosques, temples, and churches have been requested to announce the directives regularly through their loudspeakers or megaphones, it added.

As of Sunday, Bangladesh registered 420,238 COVID-19 cases and 6,067 deaths from the deadly disease, the news report said.

Seeing that many people have become reluctant to wear face masks despite the prevalence of COVID-19, the government on October 25 decided it would deny its services to those seeking them without wearing a mask, the report said.

“Instructions have been given at all levels, to all of our institutions -- social, organisational or formal institutions-- that no mask, no service. Masks must be used in all institutions, markets, shopping malls, schools, and social and religious gatherings. We’ve made it compulsory,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam had said. PTI RS RS