The Supreme Religious Authority asserted to citizens in the month of March that those who feared the infection as a result of contact or mixing with others - those who might be infected with the disease - should avoid it, and whoever did not take preventive measures and was infected would not be excused in the Shari'a.
This fatwa came with the start of the epidemic in Iraq, and the official health authorities were still recording only dozens of cases only.
The office of His Eminence, the supreme religious authority, Sayed Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani answered last March, a number of questions that were addressed to him by a group of believers, and His Eminence’s response came on (27th Rajab 1441 AH) corresponding to (March 23, 2020) on the question received in this regard, which says:
Is it obligatory to refrain from touching those who may contract the virus by shaking hands, hugging, kissing, or the like and is it permissible to be around them without taking the necessary precautions such as wearing medical masks and so forth?
The answer was as follows:
Those who fear infection from touching or mingling with others because they may be harmed greatly, even if it is not death, must avoid doing so. Unless they are able to take the necessary precautions, such as sterilization, using medical face masks and gloves to the point that they are content that they will not contract the illness. However, if one does not adhere to the preceding instructions and as a result contracts the illness then they will not be excused from a religious standpoint.