• Local authorities cautioned not to harass people when worship places are opened.
• Cleric says only mosques with big open-air spaces will be reopened and allowed to house half.
The Kenya Muslim National Advisory Council has started training religious leaders on Covid-19 safety guidelines.
The clerics are preparing for a possible reopening of places of worship by the government.
Speaking on Monday at Mwakigwena Primary school in Ukunda, KEMNAC chairman Sheikh Juma Ngao said there was a need to equip imams with basic skills on how to lead prayers amidst the coronavirus pandemic without causing further disasters.
“We are being proactive and have taken a step to educate the clerics about the virus and safety measures so when President Uhuru Kenyatta gives a go-ahead, cases of massive infection would be limited,” he said.
In Kwale county, over 50 imams were trained.
Ngao said the opening will be subjective and only mosques with huge open-air spaces will be allowed to hold prayer sessions.
He said the worshippers per session will have to be reduced by half to have enough room for physical distancing.
“The mosques with a capacity of 100 people will be slashed to 50 and those with smaller spaces won’t be opened at all,” Ngao said.
The religious leader added that public health officers will give proper guidance on how to reopen.
Ngao cautioned local authorities not to harass people when worship places are opened.
He, however, asked President Kenyatta to consider adding more time for worshippers to effectively perform their prayers.
"Mr President kindly give us a duration of 60 minutes because a quarter an hour is not enough," he said.
Edited by R.Wamochie