The National Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharubutu has called on Muslims to strictly adhere to the directive by the government to suspend all religious gathering as part of efforts to control the spread of the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Speaking at a press conference, he indicated that the daily prayers held in mosques are all to be suspended except for the Friday prayers.
The Chief Imam, at the press conference on Monday, said further direction will be given soon concerning the Friday prayers and how it must be observed.
His Spokesperson, Sheikh Arimeyao Shaibu in an interview on Eyewitness News said the new model will ensure that prayer calls will be made from mosques but Muslims will be expected to pray in their respective homes.
“We have indicated according to the Chief Imam that we all suspend the daily routine prayers adopting the Kuwaiti Model where prayer call is made but you stay at home and pray individually.”
“With respect to Friday prayer, further instruction will be coming as to how to deal with that. We are expecting that everybody will comply,” he added.
Sheikh Arimeyao Shaibu explained that due to the complexities regarding the Islamic Friday prayers further deliberations have to be undertaken to ensure that whatever decision is arrived at, fits into the Islamic laws.
“We know how people feel about the Friday prayers and we want to be clear in the way we will announce to them that Friday prayer will also be affected by the president’s directive. We want to do it taking into account the full understanding of our jurisprudence…Friday congregation will come with further direction as to how that will be done… We expect that all Muslims will respect that directive,” he said.
Public gathering advisories
President Nana Akufo-Addo on Sunday, March 15, 2020, announced new public gathering advisories to check the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Among other things, he announced a ban on funerals, festivals, all religious activities, conferences and all other events that call for a mass gathering of people.
He, however, indicated that exemptions could be made for groups of 25 people or less.
Coronavirus cases in Ghana
As at noon on Sunday, March 15, 2020, six cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in Ghana.
Director of Public Health at Ghana Health Service, Dr Badu Sarkodie who provided updates on the country’s cases on Sunday said all the cases were imported into the country.
The first two cases were confirmed on Thursday, March 12, 2020.
Two other cases were confirmed on Friday, March 13, 2020, while an additional two were confirmed on Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Five of the cases were confirmed in the Greater Accra Region while the remaining one was confirmed in the Ashanti Region.
Health officials have been working to trace persons who have come into contact with the patients and may be at risk of contracting the virus.