Durban - The council of Muslim theologians said mosques remaining open to the general public would be a "catastrophic" blow to the fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
"We cannot allow the places of worship to become the epicentres of the spread of the pandemic," the executive committee of the Jamiatul Ulama of South Africa (JUSA) said in a statement released on Sunday afternoon.
The committee justified the decision in stating that without a medical remedy the only viable solution would be to contain the pandemic and reduce the chance of it spreading uncontrollably.
"We need to maintain social distancing in every sphere of our communal lives. Avoid all unnecessary social interactions, limit going out of your homes to only unavoidable circumstances. Suspend all public engagements."
"We have not taken this decision lightly. We have both a religious and civic duty to ensure that through our actions we become part of the solution rather than the problem," said the JUSA.
As it stands, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed that there are 240 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country following 7425 tests.
President Cyril Ramamphosa is set to address the nation on Covid-19 on Sunday evening which will be publicly broadcasted but a time has not yet been set.
The address will follow a day of meetings with stakeholders at the Union Buildings in Tshwane.
Numerous resources have been made available to the public regarding Covid-19. These include:
- The NICD Hotline on 0800 029 999 operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day
- WhatsApp: 0600 123 456
* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.
** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999