Daily prayers will return to a limited number of mosques across Kuwait some three months after they were banned to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Beginning Wednesday, mosques in residential and sparsely populated areas can resume in-person daily prayers, said Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Fahad Al Afasi, according to Kuwait's KUNA news agency.
The Friday noon prayers and sermon, however, will only be performed at the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City with staff in attendance. The prayers will be broadcast on state-run television.
The Ministry of Health announced 662 confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the total number to 32,510 and a death toll of 269. Of the new infections, many are expat workers from India, Egypt and Bangladesh, health officials said.
As the tiny Gulf state grapples with an economic slowdown and collapsing oil prices, the country’s prime minister proposed last week reducing its percentage of foreign residents from 70% to 30%. Foreigners make up an estimated 3.4 million out of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.
This week, the Health Ministry said the first shipment of Japanese anti-viral drug Avigan, which has reportedly shown promising results in trial settings, will arrive in Kuwait.