EghtesadOnline: Lockdown disciplines returned to the province of Tehran for a one-week period to tackle the spread of the coronavirus infection in the epicenter of the outbreak in Iran.
The sharp rise in the capital’s infections has compelled the National Coronavirus Taskforce to order a provincewide shutdown of universities, schools, mosques, language institutes and beauty parlors, among other places, deputy governor general, Hamidreza Goudarzi, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Adopting recommendations by Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran’s coronavirus taskforce, the national authority on all matters concerning the epidemic also shut down ceremony halls, gyms and swimming pools, and banned all public gatherings, including this weekend’s Friday prayers.
Latest Health Ministry statistics indicate that adherence to safety guidelines in the province of Tehran has dropped to 46%, less than the country’s average.
Currently, 4,605 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized across the key province.
Zali noted that without serious intervention, infections will rise by three to five times and deaths by 1.5-3%.
Data compiled by the Health Ministry show an uptrend in infections across Tehran for over a month, which will inevitably increase the death rate.
Over 3,523 were diagnosed with Covid-19 within 24 hours on Saturday, 40% of whom were admitted to hospital. The newly-identified cases took the national total to 468,119,” Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman of Health Ministry, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The daily count of deaths dropped to 170 on Saturday, down by eight a day earlier, bringing the toll to 26,746, she added.
President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday pointed to infection prevention as the only viable solution to the coronavirus pandemic and called for collective action to contain the deadly virus.
During Saturday’s National Coronavirus Taskforce meeting, Rouhani said there needs to be “common understanding” of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in society before the chain of transmissions could be broken, President.ir reported.
“Everyone has come to the conclusion that prevention is the only way to combat the infectious disease. There is no vaccine or treatment,” the president said.
Rouhani also advised against public complacency despite difficulties in adhering to health protocols and said, “Following safety guidelines is getting harder but the public should not grow weary of the protocols.”
Iran’s main strategy to contain the epidemic while keeping the economy afloat has been to advocate mandatory mitigation guidelines such as facemask wearing and social distancing.
Due to the sharp drop in compliance with safety measures, the government will step up efforts to control the contagion by handing out fines to those who breach coronavirus-related laws.
The amount of fines that will be imposed will be determined in the taskforce’s next session, he added.
According to the top official, special focus will be placed on those who have tested positive for Covid-19 yet hide their infection from family and colleagues, and participate in social affairs.
Some 387,000 have recovered from the infectious disease since it was spotted in the country over seven months ago and 4,127 are in critical condition.
Iran has carried out 4.09 million coronavirus tests during the same period.
Overall, 34.8 million have tested positive for Covid-19 worldwide and 1.03 million have lost their lives.