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Iran cancels Friday prayers over Coronavirus  

A health officer, wearing a mask and special protective suit, takes care of a patient infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a hospital in Tehran, Iran on 2 March 2020. [Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]
A health officer, wearing a mask and special protective suit, takes care of a patient infected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) at a hospital on 2 March 2020. [Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency]

Iran yesterday cancelled Friday prayers across all the country’s cities this week amid the country’s growing coronavirus outbreak.

The move came after the Iranian National Committee on Combatting Coronavirus recently announced 586 new infected people and 15 deaths cases. According to official data, there are a total of 2,922 infected people and 92 death cases across Iran – the highest death toll in the world outside of China.

The Iranian health ministry said that 552 patients were recovered from the virus. It called on the citizens “to cancel the all joy and family gatherings, and funerals of joy.”

Tehran and other Iranian cities cancelled Friday prayers last week as a precaution for the virus spread.

The coronavirus first appeared in China for the first time on 12 December in the city of Wuhan, but Beijing officially revealed it in mid-January. It has sounded global alarm with China reporting 2,592 deaths from the outbreak on Monday with over 77,000 confirmed cases.

Outside mainland China, the coronavirus has spread to more than 25 other countries including the US, the UK, Singapore, France, Russia, Spain and India. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

On Monday, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that the Middle East airlines had incurred $100 million in losses following far-east flights’ cancellations over the virus spread.

READ: Saudi Arabia suspends pilgrimages for Saudi citizens and residents

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