EghtesadOnline: Following the rapid reopening of businesses across Iran amid the coronavirus pandemic, a health official said infections in the capital Tehran are volatile and alarming.
Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour on Sunday sounded the alarm over Tehran’s growing number of Covid-19 cases, ISNA reported.
According to the official, the epicenter of Tehran has become volatile in terms of coronavirus infections.
Since mid-April, the Iranian government has steadily lifted lockdown measures, allowing high-risk places of gathering such as mosques, universities, gyms and beauty salons to resume operations while observing safety guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.
Jahanpour discussed the impact of reopenings on the number of confirmed infections, adding that “the downward trend of daily infections might slow or experience a slight increase”.
The permit for personal cars to enter the restricted traffic zone in central Tehran was also lifted on Saturday, forcing workers to use public transport, which is responsible for 25% of coronavirus transmissions.
During his daily briefing, Jahanpour denied rumors of a second wave in Iran, assuring the public that the country is still in the middle of the first wave.
Foreign and domestic media outlets had in recent days reported Iran as the first country hit by the second wave when infections topped the previous record of 3,186 overnight cases last week.
President Hassan Rouhani also vehemently dismissed claims about a second wave on Saturday and urged the media not to “disturb the peace”.
Kindergartens and cinemas are among high-risk places that are scheduled to open in the coming days.
Record in Daily Coronavirus Testing
Jahanpour said Iran has hit an all-time high of 25,000 daily diagnostic tests on Sunday.
Laboratories equipped with Covid-19 kits have so far carried out 1.08 million tests.
The death toll from the pandemic reached 8,281, up by 72 from the previous day and the tally of confirmed cases rose above 170,000.
Jahanpour said, “With the identification of 2,364 new patients, the national total now stands at 171,789.”
Only 648 of the new cases were hospitalized, the rest were either in close contact with a known patient or showed only mild symptoms.
More than 134,000 have recovered and nearly 3,600 are in intensive care units in critical condition.
The health official updated the public on the situation in the southwestern hotspot province of Khuzestan, pointing out that the region is still in a state of emergency but the number of cities with alarming number of cases has sharply dropped from 16 to nine.
The southern province of Hormozgan and the western province of Kurdestan were named alongside Tehran as showing an alarming number of infections.
Worldwide, confirmed cases crossed the seven million mark on Sunday and death toll exceeded 400,000.