TEHRAN (Iran News) – Major Shia shrines reopened across Iran on Monday, more than two months after they were closed because of the deadliest novel coronavirus outbreak in West Asia.
At Tehran’s Shah Abdol-Azim shrine, worshippers had to wear a mask, walk through a disinfection tunnel and have their temperature checked as they began returning from the early morning.
The shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH) in Mashhad in northeast Iran and the shrine of Lady Fatimah Masoumeh (PBUH) and Jamkaran mosque in the holy city of Qom also reopened while observing health protocols.
They are allowed to open starting from an hour after dawn until an hour before dusk.
The Iranian TV showed worshippers crying and running toward the shrine of Imam Reza as they were guided by attendants.
In a statement on its website, the shrine said visitors must observe health requirements such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, and bring their own prayer mats, books and other accessories.
Shrines were closed alongside schools, universities and all non-vital businesses in March after Iran reported its first two coronavirus deaths in Qom in late February.
Iran has allowed a phased reopening of its economy and gradual relaxation of restrictions since early April, with a further easing expected in the coming days.
The Health Ministry said on Monday it had detected another 34 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak, bringing the country’s overall fatalities to 7,451.
Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said 2,023 new positive tests for COVID-19 took the country’s caseload to 137,724.
Khuzestan Province was still the worst-hit, and the rest of the country was in relative stability”, Jahanpour added.
He said 19 provinces reported no deaths in the past 24-hour period, while five reported just one fatality.
The spokesman also said 107,713 people have so far recovered from the respiratory disease and that 2,585 patients are in critical condition receiving treatment in ICU.
India overtook Iran on COVID-19 cases and become the tenth worst-hit country globally after registering its biggest single day spike of cases for the fourth consecutive day on Monday with 6,977 new infections reported in the last 24 hours
The country’s tally climbed 138,845 while the death toll rose to 4,021, according to its Union Health Ministry.
AFP and The Wire contributed to this story.
- source : Iran Daily, Irannews