Malaysia allows mass prayers ahead of Eid holiday hinh anh 1Kuala Lumpur will allow prayers by congregations limited to 30 or fewer (Source: Reuters)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia announced on May 14 that it will lift a ban on mass prayers in mosques, starting from May 15, as the Muslim-majority country is gradually loosening restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The news follows last week's reopening of many businesses in Malaysia, which has confirmed 6,819 infections and 112 deaths. It comes ahead of the Eid holiday that ends the fasting month of Ramadan, and falls on May 24 this year.

The Kuala Lumpur capital is among Malaysia's federal territories which will allow prayers by congregations limited to 30 or fewer, said Minister of Religious Affairs Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.

The measure excludes Malaysia's 12 remaining states, which have their own laws on religious matters, but Zulkifli said they were free to adopt similar measures if they wished.

Mass prayers have been banned since around mid-March in a partial lockdown after more than 2,300 people were infected in the country's biggest outbreak, following a religious gathering at a mosque attended by about 16,000 people.

Although new daily cases have declined steadily, schools and colleges will stay closed until June 9. Health authorities identified six infection clusters involving Islamic religious schools, with 635 students and staff testing positive.

On May 14, the country reported 40 new cases and one death.

Meanwhile, ít neighbour Indonesia confirmed 568 new infections and 15 fatalities on the day, raising the total to 16,006 and 1,043, respectively./.