EghtesadOnline: Iran is to implement stringent coronavirus-related health protocols in the midst of a second wave that has infected over 70,000 in the past month.
President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday announced a nationwide ban on all public gatherings and delegated authority to provinces to enforce strict measures for one week to slow the spread of the viral infection, President.ir reported.
“Until further notice, all gatherings, including weddings, wakes and parties, are banned. This is no longer provincial; it is nationwide, until there is a change in the situation,” he said.
The president also ordered his health and interior ministries to put forward recommendations on how to penalize violators of health protocols, to be approved by the national coronavirus taskforce.
“There is no doubt that we need to take action against violators of health measures,” he said.
According to Rouhani, government offices must dismiss, for one working day, employees who disregard protective measures, and they must also refuse to offer services to individuals not wearing facemasks.
“Until the day the Health Ministry announces the availability of a vaccine, we need to observe the rules and continue enforcing strict measures,” he said.
On Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei gave the national coronavirus taskforce, headed by Rouhani, full authority over the viral outbreak.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks came at a critical time, as the coronavirus taskforce is devising health protocols for upcoming religious festivities.
The measures will be approved next week.
The president also hinted at using mobile phone data to track people infected by the novel coronavirus through contact tracing, saying that it is “not that hard” to use this method, if the Health Ministry found it practical and productive.
“Out of identified Covid-19 patients across Tehran Province, 700 are on average hospitalized every day,” the province’s Governor General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey said.
“As of Friday, 4,000 were hospitalized in the province’s hospitals. The number of fatalities due to the second wave topped 120."
Following Tehran’s placement on red alert, the region has seen the return of restrictive measures to contain the pandemic in the country’s most populated province.
Death Toll Nearly 17,000
Iran registered 2,548 new SARS-CoV-2 infections on Saturday, 41% of whom were hospitalized, taking the country’s caseload to over 306,000, spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Overnight deaths reached 216, up by 19 compared to a day earlier, bringing the nation’s death toll to nearly 17,000, she added.
Iran has carried out 2.48 million coronavirus tests since the start of the pandemic in the then hotspot of central Qom.
Lari said, “So far, 265,830 have either recovered or been discharged from hospitals and 4,011 are in critical condition.”
Although 26 of Iran’s 31 provinces are either on red alert or in an alarming state, Rouhani said some 10 provinces, which were hit hard by the pandemic in the past few weeks, have passed the peak of the respiratory illness.
Over 17.8 million around the world have been diagnosed with Covid-19 that has claimed the lives of 684,000.