DOH says large prayer meetings for Ramadan suspended amid COVID-19 pandemic

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 23 2020 05:49 PM | Updated as of Apr 23 2020 06:08 PM

MANILA — The Department of Health on Thursday reminded the public that large prayer meetings are not allowed as the country continues to battle the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Ramadan, which is observed by Muslims worldwide with month-long fasting and prayer, starts on Friday.

“Karamihan sa ating mga kapatid na Muslim ay pumupunta sa mosque para sa Taraweeh congregation prayer. 

“Naglabas na rin po ang National Commission on Muslim Filipinos ng memorandum order na sinususpinde pansamantala ang pagsasagawa ng Taraweeh o sama-samang pagdarasal sa mga prayer rooms o mosque sa buong bansa para sa pagdiriwang ng Ramadam ngayong taon,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing.

(The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos have already released a memorandum order suspending temporarily this year the Taraweeh or community prayers for Ramadan in prayer rooms and mosques in the whole country.)

“Sa halip, hinihikayat na magdasal sa kaniya-kaniyang tahanan at manatili sa loob ng bahay sa buong panahon ng Ramadan at ECQ (enhanced community quarantine),” Vergeire said.

(Instead, we are encouraging people to pray in their own homes and to stay in their houses during the Ramadan and the ECQ.)

Vergeire said Filipinos must practice physical distancing, proper hygiene and other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As of Thursday, there have been 6,981 COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. Of that number, 722 have recovered and 462 have died.

Data from DOH. Graph from ABS-CBN Data Analytics.