Iran Suspends Jummah(Friday) prayers after having the Highest coronavirus death toll outside of China

Iranian authorities on Wednesday announced suspend of weekly Friday prayers In the affected areas and domestic travel restrictions for people with confirmed or suspected cases of the novel coronavirus.

“Instead of quarantining cities, we are going to implement movement restrictions for those suspected of infection or those infected,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki said at a news conference.

Iran has had the highest number of deaths from the virus outside China, where it emerged in late 2019. Health ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said 139 people had been infected and killed 22 people.

Despite the spread of the virus, President Hassan Rouhani warned about the virus becoming “a weapon at the hands of our enemies,” as part of “propaganda” against the country.

Iranian officials are scrambling to contain the virus, as well as the fears it has sown. Many schools and public offices around the country have closed. On Wednesday, officials banned hookah from cafes in a bid to stem the contagion.

But in the holy city of Qom, ground zero of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, pilgrimages have continued unabated, despite health officials calling on clerics to limit visitors to the city.

As of Tuesday, crowds still gathered around the shrine of Fatima Masumeh, a revered figure in Shia Islam, the religious sect of most Iranians. Throngs were seen touching the shrine and performing communal prayers.

Iranian officials are also becoming infected with the virus. On Tuesday, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi tested positive for novel coronavirus, a day after downplaying the sickness at a news conference.

At the presser, Harirchi appeared ill, wiping his forehead and nose. He and others at the conference did not wear a medical mask.

An MP also contracted the virus. “My corona test is positive … I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world,” Mahmoud Sadeghi, a parliamentarian from Tehran, wrote on Twitter, according to Reuters.

An MP from Qom earlier this week accused the government of covering up figures.

According to Reuters, the head of the Medical Science University in the holy Shia city of Qom, Mohammad Reza Ghadir, expressed concern over “the spread of those people infected by the virus across the city.” He added that the health ministry had banned releasing figures linked to the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, neighboring states are dealing with Iran as a regional breeding ground for the virus.

Iraq, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and other regional states each have reported cases originating from Iran. Iraq and Afghanistan have closed their land borders with the country, and scores of flights to Iranian cities have been suspended.

May Allah, Save Us And Protect Us All From Coronavirus. Ameen