Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Wednesday approved the holding of Tarawih prayers at two holy mosques without public attendance amid preventive measures due to the coronavirus.

According to a Wednesday statement by the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, Tarawih, special night prayers performed during the holy month of Ramadan, starting this week, will be shortened and held without public attendance at the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram) in Mecca and the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjid al-Nabawi) in Medina.

On Monday, the presidency said Tarawih prayer will be performed by staff and cancelled itikaf – the Islamic practice of secluding oneself in the mosque to pray – at both mosques.

Saudi Arabia has recorded a total of 11,631 coronavirus cases, including 109 deaths and 1,640 recoveries.

The novel coronavirus has spread to 185 countries and regions since emerging in Wuhan, China last December, with the US and Europe being the hardest-hit.

More than 2.57 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll over 177,000 and some 687,000 recoveries, according to data compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.