Iran to reopen mosques in low-risk towns amid slower growth of COVID-19 infections, deaths


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TEHRAN, May 3 (Xinhua) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the mosques will reopen in 132 towns designated as low-risk areas on Monday, as the COVID-19 infection cases and the death toll have taken on a downward trend over the past weeks, Press TV reported.

"From tomorrow, mosques will reopen in 132 towns, which were decided in today's session as white and low-risk areas," Rouhani told a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus in the capital Tehran.

"Friday prayers will also resume in those areas with respect to the health protocols," he said.

The Iranian health ministry has divided the country into white, yellow and red areas according to the number of infections and deaths.

Iran has already lifted a ban on inter-city trips and small businesses.

Earlier in the day, the health ministry said the rate of infections and the number of death cases have started a "gradual" downward trend.

Iran has so far reported 97,424 coronavirus infections, of whom 6,203 died.

Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.