Turkey’s top religious body on Tuesday called for social distancing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to stem the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement, the Directorate of Religious Affairs said: “Iftar [fast-breaking] gatherings should be avoided with relatives, neighbors, and friends.”

The religious body said fasting during the month of Ramadan is a religious duty which cannot be deferred due to the pandemic.

Citing experts, the statement added, fasting carried no risks for healthy people.

Turkey has reported 1,296 deaths from the virus, with more than 61,000 confirmed cases. The government has taken a number of measures

Read more: Turkey calls for social distancing during Ramadan