EghtesadOnline: Iranians will be required to wear facemasks in public starting next week, as daily fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic have risen to a three-month high on Sunday.
President Hassan Rouhani issued an order that makes it compulsory to wear face coverings in certain public places from July 5 for two weeks, President.ir reported.
The order came at a time when the country registered a daily leap of 144 deaths, the highest toll in nearly three months.
According to the president, the order applies to places where there is a gathering, as well as covered areas. The new rule will be extended beyond two weeks if the trial is successful.
Iran launched the “#I wear masks” campaign on Saturday before it goes into effect next Sunday.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said services will not be given to those who fail to wear masks.
The health official pointed out that facemasks can cut the risk of contracting Covid-19 by 85%.
“Social distancing can reduce the risk of catching the virus by 82%, using eye protection by 78%,” Harirchi added.
State TV is also broadcasting tutorials on how to make homemade cloth masks.
“Confirmed coronavirus cases reached 222,669 on Sunday, up by 2,489 a day earlier, 56% of whom required hospitalization,” Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The 144 additional fatalities took the national death toll to over 10,500. Some 2,940 are under medical care in intensive care units.
Lari said, “So far, 183,000 have recovered from the infection or left hospitals.”
Iran has administered 1.61 million diagnostic tests since the outbreak began.
One Infection Every 33 Seconds
The coronavirus infects one Iranian every 33 seconds and kills one every 13 minutes.
If an infected patient ignores social distancing rules, they can be responsible for the direct and indirect transmission of the deadly virus to up to 406 people.
Adherence to social distancing measures dropped sharply following the gradual reopening of the economy, sparking a rise in confirmed cases and deaths that have forced authorities to reimpose lockdown in hard-hit provinces, or “red” zones.
Harirchi said, “Red provinces should make mandatory mask wearing a priority.”
The coronavirus taskforce is taking steps to curb the spread of the disease in “red” regions by delegating authority to governor generals to impose restrictions for expediting containment efforts.
Based on data compiled by the Health Ministry, five of Iran’s 31 provinces are classified as “red” and four have recorded alarming Covid-19 numbers.
Worldwide deaths crossed 500,000 on Sunday and infections climbed to over 10.1 million.
China, the first country to lift curfews, has once again placed half a million of its residents under quarantine.