New Delhi: Amid the spike in the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the authorities at the historical Jama Masjid mosque in central Delhi, which opened on June 8, are mulling closing the mosque for some more time. This also comes a day after Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari’s secretary Amantullah passed away at Safdarjung hospital on Tuesday night due to Covid-19. Also Read - COVID-19: Sourav Ganguly Fan Club to Distribute Masks, Feed Poor on His Birthday

Notably, the mosque had opened on June 8 after a gap of over two months with the government allowing further relaxations as part of “Unlock-1”, the first phase of a calibrated exit from the novel coronavirus-induced nationwide lockdown. Also Read - Coronavirus: As Week 1 of Unlock 2.0 Nears End, Here's Where 3 Worst-Hit States End

Syed Ahmed Bukhari told IANS, “I have asked the people to share their views to close the mosque in view of the number of Covid-19 cases and fatalities.” Also Read - Veteran Bengali Actor Arun Guhathakurta Dies From Coronavirus Complications

He said the suggestions that I am getting through WhatsApp messages and the social media show that over 70 per cent people are of the view to close the mosque in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bukhari said that he has also appealed to the people to offer namaz from their homes.

He added that the decision to close the mosque or not will be taken by Thursday evening.

“I have also asked other smaller mosques to appeal to people to stay at home and offer namaz from there instead of going to mosques for it,” Bukhari said, adding that in big mosques people can follow the protocol of social distancing but in small mosques following social distancing is very tough.

(With agency inputs)