Iranian women stand in line at the Masoumeh shrine in Qom, about 120 kilometres south of Tehran on Friday, June 12, 2009. (AP)

February 26, 2020

The representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the city of Qom called on Iranians to visit the city’s main religious site, calling it a “place of healing,” despite the coronavirus outbreak in the city.

“We consider this holy shrine to be a place of healing. That means people should come here to heal from spiritual and physical diseases,” said cleric Mohammad Saeedi.

Saeedi is the head of the Fatima Masumeh shrine, Qom’s main Shia holy site.

He opposed closing down the shrine due to the coronavirus outbreak in the city.

“This place should remain open, and the people should strongly attend,” Saeedi said. “Of course, we also exercise caution and comply with health and safety procedures.”

Nineteen people have died and 139 people have been infected by coronavirus in Iran, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on Wednesday in an announcement on state TV.

Qom’s representative in the Iranian parliament, however, had said on Monday that 50 people had died of coronavirus in his city alone.

Iran has the highest number of deaths from coronavirus outside China, where the virus emerged in the city of Wuhan in late 2019.

Al Arabiya

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.