Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric Ali al-Sistani on Tuesday urged people to abide by the ban on mass prayers to avoid the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Al-Sistani made this statement on his official website responding to a question on performing mass prayers in the light of coronavirus spread.

“These gatherings are banned to limit the spread of coronavirus, it must be heard and taken seriously,” al-Sistani said.

Since Feb. 24, 73 cases of and seven deaths from coronavirus have been reported in Iraq.

The disease has spread to 110 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) that declared

Read more: Iraq: Shia Cleric Sistani calls to ban Friday prayers