Iran has cancelled Friday prayers in Tehran and 22 other provincial capitals for the first time in decades to limit the spread of the new coronavirus disease.
Senior Shia clerics have rejected calls for the shrines to be closed, with Ayatollah Mohammed Saeedi, the custodian of the Hazrat Masumeh shrine, saying that it should be kept open as a “house for cure”.
Meanwhile, Muslims are taking precautions in other parts of the Middle East.
Kuwait’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs said Friday sermons should not exceed 10 minutes and Bahraini mosques have also shortened Friday prayers, AFP news agency reports.
Saudi Arabia has temporarily halted religious visits to Mecca and Medina.