Middle East

Iran: Health Ministry calls to cancel Friday prayers

Cancellation to include all other congregations to contain outbreak of novel coronavirus

Iran: Health Ministry calls to cancel Friday prayers file photo


Iran's Health Ministry asked Iranian authorities on Thursday to cancel the Friday prayers and any other congregations due to fears of novel coronavirus.

The Iranian IRNA news agency quoted the Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour saying that all forms of congregations must be canceled till further notice.

He added that 15 medical labs will be opened within next week to diagnose novel coronavirus infections.

On Wednesday, the ministry announced that four more people died in the country from coronavirus, bringing the death toll from the outbreak in Iran to 19.

The novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has sounded global alarms, with China, the epicenter of the outbreak, reporting over 2,700 deaths and health experts grappling to find a cure.

Outside mainland China, the virus has spread to more than 30 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara.

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