Virus-infected workers start Ramadan with masks at Singapore makeshift hospital

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Muslim workers who are being treated for COVID-19 gathered in a makeshift hospital in Singapore on Friday to conduct Ramadan prayers together, careful to maintain distance between one another and to wear face masks.

Muhammad Nasiruddin made a time lapse video of about 50 worshippers including himself who are being housed at the Singapore Expo hall after the were found to be infected with coronavirus.

Nasiruddin said the gathering came about as he was reading the Koran on Thursday with another patient who could recite verses. Another fellow patient came by and asked if they could pray together — and the group expanded. He then asked the hospital authorities for permission to hold a prayer gathering.

“I think I’ve met majority of the Muslims (at the hall). So I explained the rules with them and to be socially responsible. If anyone was sick, please refrain from coming and do it on your own,” Nasiruddin told Reuters.

He said he also made sure that they didn’t make noise and disturb other patients for breakfast and prayers before dawn.

Nasiruddin was diagnosed with the virus on April 8, but has been residing at the community isolation facility since April 13.

“I couldn’t help myself being emotional as I am far apart from my family, especially my baby boy, so these Tarawih actually lifted my mood,” said Nasiruddin, who said he couldn’t wait to hug his wife and son when he gets better.

Singapore registered 897 new coronavirus infections on Friday, taking its total number of cases to 12,075. The island of 5.7 million people now has one of the highest infection rates in Asia, according to official figures, behind only China, India and Japan.