EghtesadOnline: Iran’s confirmed coronavirus cases crossed 150,000 on Sunday, as the country rolled back on confinement measures despite a sharp rise in daily infections.
Tally of Covid-19 cases in Iran reached 151,466 as of Sunday, as it reported 2,516 new overnight infections, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour was quoted as saying.
During his daily briefing, Jahanpour said, “Out of the new cases, 511 were hospitalized and the remaining 2,000 were identified through contact tracing.”
The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 7,797 Iranians, up by 63 a day earlier.
Iran is among the top five countries with highest recovery rates. So far, 118,848 have been discharged from hospitals and 2,500 remain in serious condition.
Jahanpour urged the public to wear facemasks in crowded places, as Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi informed the press on Sunday that Tehran’s urban officials might reimpose restrictions on personal car use in central parts of the capital starting next Saturday.
The ban on the entry of unauthorized personal vehicles has been lifted in Tehran’s restricted traffic zone to mitigate the use of public transport, which according to one health official, is responsible for 25% of virus transmissions. The return of the ban is expected to raise the likelihood of contracting the disease.
The outbreak has infected over 6.18 million throughout the world and the death toll has exceeded 372,000.
Infection Highly Viral in 8 Provinces
Health authorities have raised the alarm over a surge in coronavirus cases in western and southern parts of Iran.
“Seven provinces, including Lorestan, Kermanshah and Hormozgan, are witnessing alarming rates of virus transmission while the southwestern province of Khuzestan is still in a state of emergency,” Jahanpour said.
The official warned people to observe personal hygiene and social distancing rules.
However, President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the soaring number of infections is linked to a rise in tests and the surge is no cause for alarm.
Over 100 laboratories equipped with kits have carried out 936,000 coronavirus tests, roughly 16% of which have come back positive.
All employees have returned to work since Saturday and high-risk places of businesses such as gyms and beauty salons have opened for business.
Mosques, malls and holy sites have opened by purportedly observing social distancing rules. Wedding ceremonies remain banned.