Jordan goes on virus lockdown as Iran’s death toll mounts


A cleric and a woman pray behind a closed door of Masoume shrine in the city of Qom, some 80 miles south of the capital Tehran, Iran on March 16, 2020. On Monday, Iran closed the Masoume shrine, a major pilgrimage site in the city of Qom, the epicenter of the country’s new coronavirus outbreak. Authorities were already restricting access and barring pilgrims from kissing or touching the shrine, but it had remained open. (AP Photo)

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Air raid sirens have echoed across Jordan’s capital to mark the start of a three-day curfew. It’s the latest mass lockdown in the Middle East aimed at containing the coronavirus, which has claimed another 123 lives in Iran, home to the region’s worst outbreak.

Iran’s overall toll sands at 1,556 amid 20,610 confirmed cases. Saturday is Mother’s Day across the Middle East, and many took to social media to lament being unable to visit family members.

Authorities in Egypt meanwhile closed the country’s famed museums and archaeological sites, and suspended Muslim and Christian prayer services.

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