Iranians celebrate end of Ramadan prayers amid Covid-19 restrictions

Tehran, May 24 (efe-epa).- Iranians held massive collective prayers on Sunday to celebrate Eid, the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, amid social distancing measures including masks and gloves.

Group prayers had been canceled in the country for almost three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, although this restriction was recently lifted in low-risk areas and for special ceremonies.

The faithful were also allowed to visit mosques on three important dates during the month of Ramadan, following sanitary protocols imposed by the authorities.

Those who went to religious centers to celebrate Eid wore masks and gloves and placed their prayer mats at a minimum distance from each other to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Hundreds of people gathered at the Bagh-e-Feyz mosque, in west Tehran, happy to be able to participate in collective prayer again after so long.

Some were still fearful of the contagion and not all the city’s mosques held ceremonies, notably including the Grand Mosalla mosque which cancelled prayers which would have been led by Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Prayers at Bagh-e-Feyz were held outdoors in a large street in front of the building, something that is customary during Eid celebrations every year to accommodate the huge crowds that gather.

Iran, a former Covid-19 hotspot, has reported the most confirmed cases and deaths in the Middle East.

Authorities have recorded more than 7,300 deaths and 133,000 infections, out of a population of almost 82 million.

Despite the fact that new daily infections remain high, another 1,869 cases were detected on Saturday, Iranian authorities have said the disease is contained and have eased a large part of the restrictions imposed.

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