Major shrines reopened in Iran

Grigory Matyunin 25-May-2020
Holy shrine of Imam Reza, Iran Mashhad
People at the entrance to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad © Atosan | Dreamstime.com

Major shrines have been reopened in Iran following two months of being closed to prevent the further spread of covid-19 in the Islamic republic, the worst-hit country in the Middle East.

Tehran’s Shah Abdol-Azim shrine has been reopened to worshippers who must wear a mask, walk through a disinfection tunnel and have their temperature taken.

The Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad has reopened together with the Fatima Masumeh shrine and Jamkaran mosque in the holy city of Qom, subject to observance of public health measures. All visitors are expected to bring their own prayer mats and books as well as obeying social distancing measures.

State media showed worshippers moved to tears and running towards the holy sites.

Places of worship and study as well as all non-essential businesses were ordered to close over two months ago to curtail the spread of the virus. Over 7,400 people have died in the Islamic republic and more than 136,000 have tested positive for covid-19 according to data made public by the health authorities.