COVID-19: All Mosques In Iran Allowed To Open Temporarily In Latest Move Lifting Coronavirus Restrictions

The global death toll from the coronavirus is some 286,000 with more than 4.1 million infections confirmed, causing mass disruptions as governments continue to try to slow the spread of the new respiratory illness.

Here’s a roundup of COVID-19 developments in RFE/RL’s broadcast regions.

Iran

All mosques in Iran will reopen temporarily on May 12 in another step toward easing restrictions implemented to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The decision to reopen the mosques was made in consultation with the Ministry of Health, Iranian state news agency IRIB reported, quoting Mohammad Qomi, the director of the Islamic Development Organization.

Qomi said later that mosques would only be open for three days commemorating specific nights for the holy month of Ramadan and it was unclear whether they would stay open, according to the semiofficial Fars news agency.

Iran, which has suffered the Middle East’s deadliest coronavirus outbreak, has begun easing restrictions even though some parts of the country have seen a rise in infections.

The Tasnim news agency reported on May 10 that a county in Khuzestan Province had been placed under lockdown. It quoted the governor of the province as saying there had been a sharp rise in new cases, forcing authorities to reverse a phased return to work.

Iran has allowed the phased return since April 11 to help rescue its economy, which has been battered by U.S. sanctions. The country last week had to devalue its currency to fight hyperinflation caused by the sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran’s coronavirus deaths stood at 6,685 on May 11, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV. It has 109,286 diagnosed cases.

President Hassan Rohani last week announced that mosques in 132 counties considered low-risk for spread of the virus could open. This amounted to about one-third of Iran’s administrative division.

Friday Prayer gatherings resumed on May 8 in up to 180 Iranian cities and towns seen as being at low risk of coronavirus contagion, state media reported.

Schools will reopen next week, Rohani said on May 10, according to the presidency’s official website.

Iran has already lifted a ban on intercity trips, and large shopping centers have resumed activities.

Rohani also announced the replacement of the minister of industry, mines and trade on May 11, according to the official presidential website.

Hossein Modares Khiabani will replace Reza Rahmani as the caretaker head of the ministry, the announcement said without explaining why Rahmani was dismissed.

Rohani called on Khiabani to stabilize car prices, eliminate obstacles for domestic production, and expand nonoil exports.

Rahmani said in a letter to Rohani that the reason for his removal was that the parliament had not agreed to the formation of a ministry of commerce. A copy of his letter was published by Fars.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP
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Radio Free | Radio Free (2022-05-18T13:12:47+00:00) » COVID-19: All Mosques In Iran Allowed To Open Temporarily In Latest Move Lifting Coronavirus Restrictions. Retrieved from https://www.radiofree.org/2020/05/12/covid-19-all-mosques-in-iran-allowed-to-open-temporarily-in-latest-move-lifting-coronavirus-restrictions/.
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» COVID-19: All Mosques In Iran Allowed To Open Temporarily In Latest Move Lifting Coronavirus Restrictions | Radio Free | Radio Free | https://www.radiofree.org/2020/05/12/covid-19-all-mosques-in-iran-allowed-to-open-temporarily-in-latest-move-lifting-coronavirus-restrictions/ | 2022-05-18T13:12:47+00:00
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