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Algeria plans gradual reopening of mosques

A volunteer sprays disinfectant at a mosque in Algiers
AFP
The country closed its places of worship when the virus hit in March

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has tasked his prime minister to look into the gradual reopening of mosques.

The president, during a meeting of the High Security Council, instructed Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad to start by focusing on large mosques that have a capacity of 1,000 people.

He said the large mosques will "be able to allow the essential physical distancing with the imperative wearing of masks by all".

The prime minister will also oversee gradual reopening of public spaces, including beaches and parks, for recreation and relaxation.

Mosques, beaches and parks were closed in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Algeria has reported approximately 30,000 cases of coronavirus.

More about Covid-19:

From Iran To Glasgow | Finding Freedom And Music

Farzane gave the songs she heard her mum sing new life in Glasgow.
Farzane was an underground musician in Iran. She embarked on a journey to sing freely and three years ago, she found her voice and her freedom in Glasgow, "the city of music".

Iran cover-up of deaths revealed by data leak

The number of deaths from coronavirus in Iran is nearly triple what Iran's government claims, a BBC Persian service investigation has found.

The government's own records appear to show almost 42,000 people died with Covid-19 symptoms up to 20 July, versus 14,405 reported by its health ministry.

The number of people known to be infected is also almost double official figures: 451,024 as opposed to 278,827.

Read more about Iran's Covid crisis.

Patient in hospital
Getty Images

Iran's actual Covid deaths

A BBC investigation suggests real death rate three times higher than government admits
An investigation by the BBC's Persian Service has found that the number of people who have died with Covid-19 in Iran is much higher than the government has admitted. In fact it's thought to be nearly three times as high.

There has been widespread suspicion in Iran that the real death toll from the pandemic is higher than has been reported, reports that the government has rejected.  Behrang Tajdin is from the Persian Service.

(Photo: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus. Credit: EPA)