TEHRAN 

Iran reopened all mosques across the country on Tuesday despite a surge in the number of coronavirus cases.
The move was taken to allow worshippers to observe the last ten days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the Mehr news agency said, citing Head of Islamic Development Organization Hojatoeslam Mohammad Ghomi.

Reopening mosques comes despite a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections in Iran this week.

On Monday, Iranian authorities confirmed 45 deaths and 1,683 virus cases across the country.

The Health Ministry said worshippers going to mosques would be required to adhere to health protocols and social distancing rules.

The advisories include wearing masks and gloves, using disposable plastic bags for shoes, desisting from serving food or beverage inside the mosques and allowing attendees inside after sanitizing their hands.

Authorities, however, have not taken a decision yet on reopening religious shrines in the cities of Qom and Mashhad, which attract a large number of worshippers during the last days of Ramadan.

Sources, however, said exterior compounds of the two shrines in the two cities are to be thrown open to public on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Last week, the Iranian government reopened mosques in 132 “low-risk” areas, which witnessed a decline in COVID-19 infections.

One of the first countries to be hit by the global pandemic, Iran has confirmed 6,685 deaths and 109,286 infections from the virus so far.

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