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Iraq: Shia Cleric Sistani calls to ban Friday prayers

Roughly 73 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Iraq so far

Ali Jawad   | 10.03.2020
Iraq: Shia Cleric Sistani calls to ban Friday prayers


BAGHDAD, Iraq 

Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani on Tuesday urged people to abide by the ban on mass prayers to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Al-Sistani made this statement on his official website responding to a question on performing mass prayers in the light of coronavirus spread.

"These gatherings are banned to limit the spread of coronavirus, it must be heard and taken seriously," al-Sistani said.

Since Feb. 24, 73 cases of and seven deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Iraq.

The disease has spread to 110 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) that declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

The global death toll is now over 4,000 with more than 113,000 confirmed cases, the majority being in China.

As part of the efforts to contain the outbreak, some governments closed their borders and suspended land and air travel with many countries including China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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