- Delhi's Jama Masjid will be closed from 8 pm today till June 30
- Announcement comes just three days after the mosque reopened
- Delhi's coronavirus count crossing 32,000 prompted decision
The iconic Jama Masjid in Delhi will be closed from 8 pm today till June 30, the mosque's Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari has announced just three days after the mosque reopened. The decision has been taken amid the rising number of coronavirus cases in the national capital.
The Shahi Imam's announcement comes two days after his secretary Amanullah died due to coronavirus at the government-run Safdarjung Hospital. Amanullah was admitted to hospital on June 3.
Mr Bukhari has also appealed to all mosques in the country to consider closing for now with COVID-19 cases rising in the country.
"I have also asked other smaller mosques to appeal to people to stay at home and offer 'namaz' instead of going to mosques for it. What is the point of visiting mosques at such a time when the spread of the coronavirus is peaking in Delhi, when we did not do so even during Ramzan and Eid due to the lockdown," Mr Bukhari said, according to news agency PTI.
Jama Masjid had opened on Monday after staying closed for over two months with the government allowing further relaxations in lockdown curbs as part of "Unlock-1".
Delhi registered 1,501 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of cases to over 32,000, which is the third highest in the country. So far, 984 people have died due to COVID-19 in Delhi.
Delhi has registered more than 1,000 new cases daily for the past few days as the government allowed a number of relaxations following two months of a nationwide lockdown.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and discussed the coronavirus situation in Delhi which has seen a spurt in new cases in recent days. "He assured of all cooperation," Mr Kejriwal tweeted.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday said infections will climb to 5.5 lakh by the end of July and it does not have the hospital capacity to handle such an outbreak.
Despite a vast lockdown imposed in March, coronavirus is spreading in India at one of the world's fastest rates as it re-opens a battered economy. Health experts say India's peak could still be weeks away, if not months.
(With inputs from PTI)