DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladesh on Monday suspended all prayers, including Friday congregations, at mosques as part of efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The Muslim-majority country also imposed the restriction for all other religious groups, asking them to continue prayers and other activities at home to help the country overcome the coronavirus crisis.

The decision was announced in an emergency notification issued by the Islamic Foundation Bangladesh (IFA), which operates under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

The statement said all religious events, gatherings, and joint prayers will be suspended until further, and legal punitive measures will be taken against violators.

Read more: COVID-19: Bangladesh halts prayers at mosques