Two of 3 S'pore mosques closed for cleaning to reopen on Thursday

Ahmad Mosque (left), En-Naeem Mosque (top right) and Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim Mosque will be closed for cleaning and disinfection. PHOTOS: MUIS, SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS
A sign informing worshippers of the disinfecting work at Ahmad Mosque, on Dec 2, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
Deep cleaning and disinfecting work being carried out at Ahmad Mosque on Dec 2, 2020. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Two of three mosques that were closed for cleaning on Wednesday (Dec 2) after being visited by Covid-19 positive patients will reopen on Thursday.

Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim Mosque in Telok Blangah and En-Naeem Mosque in Hougang will reopen for noon prayers and thereafter.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Mosque in Pasir Panjang will reopen for prayers on Friday.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) said on Wednesday that it was informed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) that individuals who had tested positive for Covid-19 had been to the three mosques recently.

Bookings for congregational prayer at the mosques on Wednesday were voided due to the closures.

In an update on Wednesday night, MOH said the visits occurred at Temenggong Daeng Ibrahim Mosque on Nov 19 from 8pm to 8.45pm, and at Ahmad Mosque on Nov 20 from 12.40pm to 1.30pm.

Details of the visit to En-Naeem Mosque were not provided in the list of places visited by infectious cases in the community in the past 14 days.

Muis noted that MOH is actively conducting contact tracing and all congregants who have been identified as close contacts of the individuals who tested positive will be reached for "necessary follow-up action".

"This is also a timely reminder of the importance of using TraceTogether when visiting the mosques, so that anyone who has had possible exposure to an infected person can be identified and reached quickly," said Muis.

Since Nov 13, 10 mosques have been allowing 150 worshippers at each Friday prayer session in a pilot programme, 50 more than the previous limit. Other mosques, including the three that were closed, may have 100.

Muis said last month that it aims to eventually lift the limit for the 10 mosques to 250 people at each session by the end of the year.

This is in line with the Government's move for a pilot programme allowing worship sessions of up to 250 participants for religious organisations that have safely conducted services for 100 people.

The three mosques were closed following announcements by MOH on Tuesday that there were five unlinked cases of Covid-19 in the past week.

The most recent, also announced on Tuesday, was a 66-year-old cleaner who works in the transit area of Changi Airport Terminal 3.

On Monday, MOH announced that a 35-year-old Nepalese man had tested positive in a pre-departure screening on Nov 28 before a trip to the United States.

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Two other cases were picked up during community surveillance testing in which 876 stallholders and workers in and near Tekka Centre were tested on Nov 26.

One was a 60-year-old woman who sells mutton at the market.

The other was a 41-year-old work permit holder who is employed as a warehouse assistant.

The last of the five unlinked cases in the past week was a 32-year-old service engineer, announced last Thursday.

Prior to that, the last infected person in the community was announced on Nov 10.

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