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Sweden bans gatherings exceeding 500 people

Stockholm's Fittja Mosque suspends Friday prayers due to government restrictions of coronavirus

Ahmet Gurhan Kartal   | 12.03.2020
Sweden bans gatherings exceeding 500 people

LONDON

Sweden has introduced a ban on gatherings of more than 500 people due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a government statement.

The ban includes Friday prayers in mosques with capacity of more than the said number.

Sport events will also see no fans due to new restrictions and breaches may cause punitive action of up to 6 months of imprisonment, according to the statement.

Fittja Ulu Camii, one of the biggest mosques in Stockholm belonging to Presidency of Turkish Religious Affairs (Diyanet), has also temporarily closed its doors for Friday prayers.

Mosque’s President Ismail Okur told Anadolu Agency that they will close the mosque in line with the government’s decision until the restrictions end.

He said the mosque can host 1,500 worshippers and the mosque gets really crowded on Fridays normally.

The restrictions came after Sweden’s Public Health Agency upgraded the risk of spread in the country from moderate to very high and the WHO declared coronavirus a global pandemic.

The global death toll from the virus known has surpassed 4,600, with over 124,500 confirmed cases, according to the WHO.

The virus originated in China’s Wuhan city last December and it has reached more than 100 countries so far.

As part of efforts to contain the outbreak, many governments closed borders and suspended land and air travel with the worst-hit countries.

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