Supreme leader issues fatwa banning ‘unnecessary travel’ as coronavirus death toll mounts

The supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has made a religious ruling that prohibits “unnecessary travel” in the country in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19. Iran’s death toll from the outbreak is nearing 1,000.
The fatwa urges citizens to respect the orders of the health authorities and to refrain from traveling across the country without a valid reason. The supreme leader has final say on all state affairs and the decree published on Tuesday is a rare move on his part.
Iranian authorities called upon the citizenry to avoid traveling, closing major Shia Muslim holy sites on Monday in a bid to halt the spread of coronavirus. Still, many defied the restrictions, while some hardline faithful even broke into locked-down holy sites in Mashhad and Qom overnight, desiring to pray there.

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