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EghtesadOnline: Coronavirus patients and deaths are on the rise in Iran, as overall fatalities crossed 15,000 on Friday and the caseload climbed to 286,000, health officials announced.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus known to cause Covid-19, claimed the lives of 215 Iranians over the span of one day, taking the death toll to 15,289, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.

The viral disease infected 2,489 on Friday, only 40% of whom did not require hospitalization. The newly identified patients brought the country’s tally of cases to 286,523, the health official said.

President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday attributed the resurgence of the deadly virus to the many wedding ceremonies and funerals that were held following the normalization of the outbreak.

During a coronavirus taskforce meeting, the president said, “Evaluations show that the spread of the second wave of the novel coronavirus was not caused by economic and social activities.”

Rouhani’s reopening of the Iranian economy more than two months ago drew a chorus of criticism when he replaced lockdown disciplines with safety guidelines devised by his Health Ministry.

“Non-adherence to health protocols, arising from the assumption that the virus has weakened, and public gatherings such as weddings and wakes triggered another wave,” he added.

The government has shut down thousands of business places violating coronavirus-related rules to encourage compliance. It has also issued a mandatory mask wearing order to curb the outbreak that has been overwhelming its hospitals.

Rouhani pointed out that since mandating facemasks, the coronavirus pandemic has slowed in many parts of the country.

Almost 250,000 have so far recovered from the respiratory illness across the nation and 3,653 are in critical condition. Lari said, “Up to now, Iran has administered 2.27 million diagnostic tests to uncover infections.”



Muharram Rituals

Rouhani on Thursday put an end to heated debates on whether to observe mourning ceremonies for Imam Hussein (PBUH) during the lunar month of Muharram amid a global health crisis.

The president called the rituals related to Imam’s mourning processions an “undeniable spiritual need” and added, “Holding the annual commemoration is an absolute necessity.” 

Muharram is the period of mourning and attending commemoration ceremonies marking the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Countries with sizable Shia communities, including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan, mourn the sacrifice of the venerable figure annually during the lunar months of Muharram and Safar with large public gatherings and distribution of votive food.

Rouhani ordered the Health Ministry to come up with protocols for the safe mourning of Imam’s martyrdom, set to begin in less than a month.

Globally, Covid-19 has infected 15.6 million and killed over 637,000.


Iran death toll Fatalities coronavirus COVID-19