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Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque re-opens after 2 months

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Middle East | May 31, 2020 9:41:43 PM IST
Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque on Sunday reopened for worshippers, the first time in two months after it was shut to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Council of Islamic Waqf, which oversees Muslim sites on the complex, cited the virus's slowed local spread in lifting entry restrictions on Sunday.

However, the Jordan-appointed council also imposed some precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contagion at Islam's third-holiest site. Worshippers must wear face masks and bring personal prayer rugs should they wish to pray in the mosque or on the grounds, reported Al Jazeera.

The re-opening of mosques has brought cheers to devotees.

"After they opened the mosque, I feel like I can breathe again. Thanks be to God," Jerusalem resident Umm Hisham, after entering the compound for dawn prayers, was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying.

This year the Jerusalem's Muslims had to celebrate Eid al-Fitr without their usual daily visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque and the adjoining Dome of the Rock.

Besides Israel, Iran has allowed the re-opening of mosques.

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia too had allowed re-opening of mosques for only 20 minutes for Friday prayers.

The respiratory illness has infected over 6 million people globally and killed more than 3,67,000 others, though the true number is thought to be higher as testing is still limited and many countries haven't counted fatalities outside of hospitals. (ANI)

 
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