EghtesadOnline: People who breach coronavirus regulations in Iran’s capital could face fines of up to $6.6, President Hassan Rouhani announced on Saturday in a bid to encourage compliance with health protocols in the face of a third wave of infections.
The minimum fine for Covid-19 law breach was set at $1.6 for individuals who refuse to wear face coverings, Rouhani said during a National Coronavirus Taskforce meeting, President.ir reported.
Only residents of the capital Tehran will be subject to the fines in the first phase of the program but the punitive measures could expand to other large cities, if necessary.
“Coronavirus-positive patients receive fines as high as $.6.6 for self-isolation breaches,” the president said, adding that the new law will be imposed by police officers, Health Ministry inspectors and Basij volunteer forces.
Places of business are required to abide by health protocols and refuse to offer services to those who do not wear facemasks or face fines in stages.
Business owners will receive a notice for a first-time violation, but the fine rises to $10 and $33 for the second and third breach and authorities will shut down the business after a fourth offence.
With Tehran’s public transport system serving as a hotspot for coronavirus transmission, the government will issue $3.3 penalty notices for taxi drivers who do not comply with the facemask order.
“For every passenger who does not wear a facemask, the driver of the taxi will be handed out a fine of $0.6,” Rouhani said.
Adherence to safety measures has dropped to an all-time low of 42%, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.
Fund for Rapid Testing Kits
Rouhani said the government has allocated $100 million to import rapid testing kits that can expedite coronavirus testing in the country.
“The tests reveal the results in approximately 20 minutes,” he said, announcing that Iran will both import and locally manufacture the new kits.
In a phone call to Health Minister Saeed Namaki, the president said he will also provide funding to increase the daily testing capacity by 10,000.
“In addition to the efforts of healthcare workers, it is critical to rapidly identify patients,” Rouhani stressed.
Iran added 3,875 to its tally of coronavirus infections on Sunday, 32% of whom required admission to hospital, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“The new confirmed cases took the national total to 496,000,” Lari added.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed the lives of 195 patients overnight, pushing the death toll to 28,293, Lari said.
According to the health official, 30 of Iran’s 31 provinces are on red alert or in an alarming state and the number of “red” counties across the country have risen to 187, compared to last week’s 158.
Iran has administered 4.28 million diagnostic tests since the outbreak was spotted in the country.
Nearly 404,000 have recovered from the respiratory illness and some 4,440 are hospitalized in intensive care units in critical condition.
The number of coronavirus patients worldwide climbed to 37.1 million on Saturday and the death toll crossed 1.07 million.