EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Covid-19 tally rose past the 300,000 threshold on Friday, as its national taskforce began to broaden the scope of lockdown measures in its worst-hit regions.
“With 2,674 fresh cases, the country has overall recorded over 304,000 coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic,” Health Ministry’s Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Over a 24-hour period, the novel coronavirus claimed the lives of over 197 Iranians, taking the total death toll to 16,766, she added.
Following a surge in cases and deaths in the capital Tehran, in a coronavirus taskforce meeting chaired by President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday, the top official lifted the restrictions, allowing residents to enter the city’s central traffic zone with personal cars for one week.
The restricted traffic zone had been a subject of heated debate between health officials and the capital’s municipality, which will see a sharp cut in revenues if the ban on the entry of personal cars is lifted indefinitely.
The traffic zone forced many to resort to public transport to commute, increasing the chances of virus transmission in overcrowded buses and metro trains.
The coronavirus taskforce also closed Iran’s borders to international tourists and required other visitors above the age of two to have health certificates issued by their home country, confirming that the traveler’s Covid-19 test was negative.
According to Lari, Iran has administered over 2.45 million diagnostic tests to detect the infection in potential Covid-19 patients.
“So far, 263,519 have recovered from the disease or been discharged … Some 4,021 are in serious condition,” she said.
The health official noted that 26 of the country’s 31 provinces are either on red alert, or in an alarming state.
More than 17.5 million have been diagnosed with Covid-19 worldwide and 678,000 have died.