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Turkey: Friday Muslim prayers led on TV due to virus

With congregational services suspended over coronavirus, head of Religious Affairs Directorate delivers sermon on television

Dilara Hamit   | 27.03.2020
Turkey: Friday Muslim prayers led on TV due to virus

ANKARA 

With all-important Friday congregational prayers banned in mosques over coronavirus fears, Turkey’s top religious authority today led the faithful via television screens.

Ali Erbas, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, delivered a sermon on television to help stem the virus’ spread.

Just like last week, Friday congregational prayers are prohibited nationwide, with the exception of Bestepe Mosque in the capital Ankara, said the directorate in a statement.

On Monday, the directorate announced that congregational prayers had been suspended as a public safety measure during the pandemic.

Turkey has confirmed a total of 75 fatalities from the novel coronavirus, while the tally of infections was reported as 3,629 late Thursday.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the virus has spread to at least 176 countries and regions, according to the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly 543,000 people have tested positive worldwide, with the death toll above 24,000 and over 124,000 recoveries.

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