RNA – The governor of Iraq’s Karbala province said no pilgrims will be allowed into the holy city of Karbala in the first ten days of the lunar Hijri month of Muharram.
No Iraqi or foreign pilgrims can enter the city on these days, especially on the 9th and 10th of Muharram which mark Tasu’a and Ashura, Nasif al-Khattabi said.
He said the city will be closed until the 13th of Muharram, adding that any gatherings of people will be banned, al-Sumaria News reported.
Anyone who calls for holding gatherings will be referred to the judiciary, al-Khattabi warned.
“We are in extraordinary conditions (given the Coronavirus outbreak),” he said, stressing the need for commitment to preventive measures and social distancing.
Shi’ah Muslims around the world mourn the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn, Sayyid al-Shuhada (the Master of the Martyrs), in Muharram.
The third Shi’ah Imam (AS) and a small group of his followers and family members were martyred by the tyrant of his time – Yazid ibn Mu’awiyah, in the battle of Karbala on the tenth day of Muharram (known as Ashura) in the year 680 AD.
The Coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has infected over 18 million people around the world and killed more than 689,000.
The outbreak has had a major impact on global sporting, cultural, religious and political events, with a host of events canceled or postponed.
Iraq has reported 126,704 coronavirus cases and 4,805 deaths from COVID-19 so far.