KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 — The Perlis government issued a directive today for Muslims in the state to perform Zohor prayers at home in place of the mandatory Friday congregational prayers, citing renewed concerns over Covid-19 in the north of the peninsula.
The Perlis Islamic Religious and Malay Customs Council (MAIPs) said the directive was based on the decree from the Raja of Perlis.
The council also restricted activities at 12 mosques and prayers halls in the Senglong, Simpang Ampat, and Guar Sanji areas, reintroducing the four-person limits that were imposed at the height of the movement control order (MCO).
Mosques and prayer halls in the areas have also been instructed to replace the call to prayer in their azan with a message telling Muslims to instead pray at home.
Perlis was the first state to take such steps even before the country entered an unprecedented nationwide lockdown in March to try and contain the spread of Covid-19.
After months of restrictions, the country had appeared to be on the path to recovery.
However, a new Covid-19 cluster has emerged in Kedah that neighbours Perlis, caused by a permanent-resident restaurant operator who ignored his mandatory home quarantine despite exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms.
The cluster was named the Sivagangga cluster and has already been responsible for 30 infections that were at least two generations deep.
Yesterday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also disclosed that the particular strain in the cluster could be a “super spreader” that was particularly effective at replicating itself, resulting in much faster infections that previously observed.
Malaysia is currently under the recovery movement order meant to end on August 31.