Coronavirus: Iran to open mosques in over 100 cities on Monday, says Hassan Rouhani
Mosques in over 100 Iranian cities will be reopened from Monday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.
Iran first cancelled Friday prayers at mosques in late February, days after reports began to surface that the number of coronavirus cases in the country was far higher than the official tally, with religious sites subsequently closed in March. As of Saturday, 6,156 people in Iran have died from the virus, with 96,448 confirmed cases.
Although the number of cases is still rising in Iran, it now appears that officials will be reopening some mosques to the public.
“Mosques of 132 cities deemed low-risk will be reopened tomorrow with the observance of health protocols,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying.
Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.
Friday prayers will also be held in these cities from this week, Rouhani added.
The government planned to assess the possibility of reopening religious sites in the second half of May, but the date was brought forward at the request of the head of Iran’s religious seminaries Ayatollah Alireza Arafi, Rouhani had previously said.
Watch: “We are not followers of the World Health Organization. They are a bunch of infidels and Jews,” a cleric shouts outside the Fatima Masumeh shrine in #Qom after Shia pilgrimage sites were closed to combat the spread of the #coronavirus in #Iran.https://t.co/cO8XWbK6KM pic.twitter.com/FE079sGOQi— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) March 17, 2020
There were concerns about a clash between religion and science during the coronavirus pandemic, Rouhani said, adding that the clergy prevented any clashes by intervening.
Schools in “white areas” will also reopen from May 16, he said.
Authorities in Iran have divided the country’s provinces into white, yellow and red areas, depending on the severity of the coronavirus crisis. White areas are deemed “low-risk.”
Coronavirus: Iran’s death toll rises to 6,156 out of 96,448 total infectionsIran's death toll from new coronavirus increased by 65 in the past 24 hours to 6,156 on Saturday, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Iran reports 63 deaths, drop in daily death rateIran on Friday announced 63 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, saying the rate of fatalities and infections were dropping while calling on the ... Coronavirus
Coronavirus: Mother and newborn separated by closed Iran-Iraqi borderClutching her tablet in her lap, Rafiqa Ibrahim Radi, an Iraqi mother of three, tears up while watching videos of her newborn son Seif. Lying in a ... Coronavirus