Friday prayers resume in mosques in parts of Iran

AP , Friday 8 May 2020

Mourners wearing protective clothing, face masks and gloves, pray over the body of a victim who died after being infected with the new coronavirus, in the outskirts of the city of Babol, in north of Iran, Thursday, April 30, 2020. (AP)

Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency says Friday prayers are resuming in mosques in 146 cities with minimal risk conditions for spreading the coronavirus after being banned for more than two months.

The report said prayer gatherings will continue to be banned in major cities, including all provincial capitals, for now.

Iran is battling the worst outbreak in the Middle East while under heavy U.S. sanctions. Officials said Thursday the death toll from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, rose to nearly 6,500 among more than 100,000 confirmed cases.

There are currently no plans to reopen the country's religious shrines, including the most important Shiite holy site in the country, the Imam Reza Shrine in the northeastern city of Mashahd.

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