GEORGE TOWN, Jan 8 — Penang will still maintain all activities at mosques and surau including performing congregational prayers with physical distancing under the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOP) because the Covid-19 Omicron variant still poses a threat.

Penang Islamic Religious Council president Datuk Ir Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, who is also deputy chief minister, said currently the state could still not implement full congregational prayers as being done in Perlis and Johor, adding that the public must comply with the National Recovery Plan Phase Four SOP.

“We have discussed with the National Security Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to seek permission to conduct full congregational prayers prior to this. However, it is yet to be decided because there is still the current threat of the Omicron variant.

“So, the public especially worshippers attending mosques and surau in Penang must comply with the SOP set for all mosques and surau enlivening activities including spaced congregational prayers,” he said when contacted today.

He said this when commenting on reports about Perlis allowing full congregational prayers statewide starting from Subuh prayers today.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zakiyuddin the decision for full congregational prayers would only be made after the trend involving the Omicron variant cases in Penang went down.

“All activities to enliven mosques are allowed but subject to the SOP issued prior to this. And the decision on full congregational prayers will only be made after the Covid-19 case evaluation especially involving the Omicron variant,” he added. — Bernama