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Coronavirus in Iran: Mashhad, Qom and other Shia shrines shut

These shrines in Iran attract millions of domestic and international Shia pilgrims annually

Tuesday March 17, 2020 10:40 AM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Shia Shrines Closed

Tehran: Iranian authorities have closed the doors of Shia shrines in the religious cities of Mashhad, Qom and Shahr-e-Rey, amid the rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the country.

The shrines will be closed to the pilgrims at least until March 25, Xinhua news agency reported.

These shrines in Iran attract millions of domestic and international Shia pilgrims annually.

Iran's government had consulted powerful clerics and requested their consent for the closure of the major shrines.

Last week, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged all the institutions in the country to cooperate with the Ministry of Health and Medical Education and follow its directives.

A total of 14,991 people in Iran have been infected with novel coronavirus, while 853 people have died so far, the Ministry of Health and Medical Education said on Monday.

Among the deads are top Iranian cleric, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Hashem Bathaie Golpayegani, a member of the Assembly of Experts which advises the country's Supreme leader.

Golpaygani was receiving treatment in Qom's Shahid Beheshti hospital, where he was admitted on Saturday, according to Iranian news agencies.

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