Turkey has suspended all congregational prayers in mosques, including traditional Friday prayers, to help stem the spread of coronavirus.
The decision has been taken by Turkey’s top religious authority.
Ali Erbas, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, on Monday, announced that the mosques would remain open for those who want to pray individually.
“In this process, it is sufficient to do the noonday prayer instead of the Friday prayer,” he added.
He also told that all the Turkish citizens who went on the Umrah pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in a government-organized tour have returned to Turkey.
He added that 390 Turkish citizens who travel to Saudi Arabia on private tours will be quarantined upon return.
Turkey announced new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus late Monday
According to the Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca, 29 more people have been diagnosed with the virus, bringing the total number in Turkey to 47.
He said the new case comes from contacts abroad; the U.S., Middle East, Europe and three were from returning pilgrims from an Umrah visit in Saudi Arabia.
“Overseas contact will continue to be a risk,” Koca noted, adding the importance of applying measures strictly.