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Saudi Arabia suspends Ramadan prayers at Holy Mosques

Tarawih prayers suspended in Mecca and Medina in efforts to contain coronavirus

Davut Demircan   | 21.04.2020
Saudi Arabia suspends Ramadan prayers at Holy Mosques A view of Masjid al-Nabawi as Muslim hajj pilgrims visit Medina,( Ashraf Amra - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA 

Saudi Arabia has suspended Tarawih prayers at the two holy mosques in Mecca and Medina in a bid to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Tarawih, special night prayers performed during the holy month, will be held without public attendance at the Grand Mosque [Masjid al-Haram] and the Prophet’s Mosque [Masjid al-Nabawi], said Abdul Rahman As-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.

Tarawih will be performed mainly with staff, As-Sudais said in a statement on Twitter.

The statement also said that itikaf -- the Islamic practice of secluding oneself in the mosque to pray -- has been canceled at both mosques.

It also said that Umrah will remain suspended until further notice.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in Wuhan, China last December, with the U.S. and Europe now the hardest-hit areas.

There are more than 2.4 million cases worldwide and over 170,000 deaths. More than 647,000 have recovered from the virus, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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