Bangladesh on Friday banned Iftar gatherings during the holy month of Ramzan to curb the spread of the coronavirus infections as the Muslim-majority country recorded the highest single-day spike of 503 positive cases, increasing the total cases to 4,689.
Bangladesh's Ministry of Religious Affairs in a statement said that in order to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak, no individuals or institutions will be allowed to arrange or participate in any gathering over Iftar meals at dusk, bdnews24.com reported.
The ministry said legal action will be taken against those who fail to comply with the order.
The government has also decided not to allow more than 12 people in mosques for Ramzan evening prayers as the coronavirus outbreak continues to escalate. The 12 will include senior clerics and other mosque officials.
The mosques' governing bodies will decide who will be included from the neighbourhoods if the quota is not filled for the prayers, State Minister for Religious Affairs Sheikh Md Abdullah told the news portal.
He also said the restrictions on gathering for other prayers in mosques will remain in force. Currently, the number of people allowed for mosque prayers is five. As many as 10 can offer prayers on Fridays.
Bangladesh on Friday registered four more deaths from the novel coronavirus, taking the total death toll to 131.
The tally of infections soared to 4,689 after another 503 people tested positive for COVID-19, DGHS Additional Director General Nasima Sultana said.
The DGHS official said all the new deceased are men and they were aged between 51 and 60.
Bangladesh has decided to extend the nationwide COVID-19 shutdown until May 5 amid warnings of heightening risks of coronavirus infections in the country, including among doctors and healthcare workers.
To curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, the government initially declared a general holiday on March 26 for 10 days. Later, that was gradually extended till April 25 as the country kept seeing a rise in the number of cases and deaths from COVID-19.