Saudi Arabia temporary shuts down 10 mosques after COVID-19 infections

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Saudi Arabia has temporarily shut down 10 mosques in a number of regions across the Kingdom following an outbreak of COVID-19 infections among worshipers and mosque employees, according to a ministerial statement.

Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance of Saudi Arabia also announced it was temporarily closing one mosque in Ad-Dilam district of Riyadh for sterilization after a number of employees were infected with the coronavirus.

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The ministry indicated in a report issued on Monday that within two days, it began closing five mosques in Riyadh, three of them in Harimila district and one in each in aflaj and Ad-Dilam districts, and also closed a mosque in the al-Mandaq governorate in al-Baha, a mosque in Dammam in the Eastern Province, and three mosques in the northern border.

The Islamic affairs ministry indicated that the mosques would be closed sterilization operations lasting between 24 hours to 48 hours.

The Ministry called on the worshipers to take all the precautionary measures approved by the competent authorities, including wearing a facemask, bringing their own prayer rug, and practicing social distancing measures.

Saudi Arabia on Monday reported 356 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases to 370,634, according to the Ministry of Health.

Saudi Arabia's also temporarily suspended entry from 20 countries, which officially came into effect from 9:00 pm local time on Feb. 3, a move announced a day earlier in a bid to curb a jump in coronavirus infections.

The ban includes a list of 20 countries: Argentina, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, the United States of America, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Pakistan, Brazil, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Lebanon, Egypt, India, and Japan.

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