SINGAPORE – One of the tourist attraction in Singapore, the Sultan Mosque has temporary closed its door to the tourists following the deadly Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in Singapore.
The mosque has been closed for tour visits since last Saturday (25 January). The Board of Trustees and Administrators of the Sultan Mosque had a discussion the day after Singapore confirmed its first coronavirus case on 23 January.
The decision was made during the Chinese New Year Eve on Friday (24 January) where they unanimously decided to stop receiving foreign tourists at the mosque.
Signages and notices on the temporary closure was put up at the 10 entrances to the mosque located at the Muscat Street and North Bridge Road within the Kampong Gelam precinct and Arab Street tourist centres.
The signboard read “Closed for tour visits until further notice. Muslim congregants are welcomed for prayers. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
The Manager of Sultan Mosque, Zainal Abidin Omar said, the board of administrators of the mosque took the immediate prevention measures to ensure that the congregation and its staff are safe and at the same time, to avoid the spread of the disease.
“We are concerned. We have many members. I think there are more than 1,000 people each time we pray. The number is even greater for the Friday prayers. Last week, the mosque was full,” Zainal told BERITAmediacorp.
The Sultan Mosque was gazetted as the national monument of Singapore in 1975. It receives 600 to 700 visitors daily. The number rises to about 1,000 on weekends. It also translates to 5,000 tourists in a week.
According to Zainal, the mosque has more than 10 volunteers and staff on duty as its frontline, who would be receiving the tourists daily.
“We are closing the mosque temporarily to prevent the virus from spreading. Prevention is better than cure. If we look at the hospitals, they also don’t allow just anyone to enter their premises.
“All these are to contain the virus from spreading,” Zainal said. -MalaysiaGazette