BELGRADE (Reuters) - Several thousand worshippers and clergy, some without face masks, filed steadily into a Belgrade church on Saturday to pay their respects to Patriarch Irinej, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, who died aged 90 after contracting COVID-19.
Despite a rise in COVID-19 cases, some of the faithful maintained tradition by kissing the glass-covered casket containing the Patriarch’s body, which was dressed in a gold-embroidered robe and an ornate crown.
Most, however, solemnly walked past it and wore protective masks as they paid their respects to Irinej, who became the Church’s 45th patriarch a decade ago.
Serbia’s government imposed tighter coronavirus controls on Saturday, such as requiring face masks to be worn outside “where distance can not be maintained” from next week.
Serbia, which has a population of about seven million, has reported 110,351 COVID-19 cases and 1,140 deaths.
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BELGRADE, Reuters, Serbian Orthodox Church, Authorities
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