Shia source of emulation Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Modarresi urged Iraqi authorities to open the doors of mosques and pilgrimage sites while enforcing social distancing and measures like disinfecting and sterilizing the sites, Al-Sumaria TV reported.
In a statement issued ahead of Eid al-Adha, the cleric also referred to closure of holy shrines, like the mausoleum of Imam Hussein (AS) and the holding of Hajj with a very limited number of pilgrims and urged people to pray and hold religious rituals at home while the current conditions continue.
Classified a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the new coronavirus, a respiratory disease known as COVID-19, emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei Province late last year.
It has infected more than 16.4 million people and killed nearly 653,000 globally.
The outbreak has had a major impact on global sporting, cultural, religious and political events, with a host of events canceled or postponed and many religious, cultural and other sites closed.