EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday Iran has no choice but to pursue economic goals, as it tries to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
During the coronavirus taskforce meeting, Rouhani said, “Businesses and the national economy must remain active while tackling the Covid-19 pandemic; there is no second choice,” his website reported.
The president pointed out that his administration’s redline is healthcare resources and that infections must always remain below the capacity of hospitals.
“The coronavirus epidemic will last for long; we do not know when it will end and we have to carefully observe safety protocols under the circumstances,” he said.
The top official urged the public to refrain from participation in gathering such as wedding ceremonies and funerals.
He pointed to a Health Ministry report that showed community transmission has risen sharply in a region due to a wedding celebration.
While the president did not specify the location, earlier comments by Health Minister Saeed Namaki indicate the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which has been in a state of emergency for weeks, is most likely the culprit.
Rouhani noted that the government will continue to financially support the underprivileged at least until the end of this year to help them cope with the economic fallout of the outbreak.
The taskforce decided to relax more restrictions on Saturday, according to which kindergartens, Qur’an courses and institutes such as English language schools can resume classes starting June 13.
Moderate-risk regions can hold communal Friday prayers from June 21. Domestic tour travels can once again offer services from June 13.
Cinema theaters and concert halls can reopen on June 13, but they will be limited to half the normal capacity. Funerals are also authorized to be held in open spaces.
All reopenings will be subject to strict health guidelines.
Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Saturday that about 2,260 coronavirus cases were confirmed during a 24-hour period, ISNA reported, showing a 20% drop compared to yesterday’s daily count.
The new overnight numbers bring the national tally of cases to nearly 169,500. Some 75 fatalities has taken the death toll to 8,209.
More than 132,000 have recovered or left hospitals, while 2,570 are in serious condition.
According to the health official, 15 provinces registered no fatalities and six reported only one.
Iran has carried out 1.06 million coronavirus tests since the outbreak was first detected.
During Saturday’s meeting, Rouhani said more than 1,200 centers across the country are equipped to take samples from suspected patients and carry out diagnostic tests.
Worldwide, Covid-19 cases have soared above 6.87 million and death toll neared 400,000.