Iran Set to Reopen Mosques Despite Spike in Coronavirus Cases

(Bloomberg) -- Mosques will reopen across Iran from Tuesday, despite a recent spike in coronavirus cases that has prompted the government to lock down some hard-hit areas.

Iran’s mosques and religious centers will open in time for special ceremonies held during the last 10 days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, but social distancing measures will be observed, the semi-official Fars News Agency said.

Participants in the evening ceremonies will be required to wear gloves and masks and bring their own Qurans and prayer rugs, it said. The announcement marks an expansion of a policy unveiled a week earlier, which saw mosques reopen in areas deemed low risk.

The announcement comes as the number of coronavirus cases in the country continues to climb, with over 109,000 infections and more than 6,600 fatalities reported so far.

Health Ministry spokesperson Kianush Jahanpour expressed concern about the high rate of infections in Tehran. Large parts of the oil-rich southern Khuzestan province have been put under lockdown, including the city of Mahshahr and Abadan county bordering Iraq.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

BQ Install

Bloomberg Quint

Add BloombergQuint App to Home screen.