EghtesadOnline: Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak topped the 30,000 mark on Saturday, as the government extended lockdown disciplines in the capital Tehran to contain the viral infection.
Over 250 coronavirus deaths were reported within a 24-hour period, raising the national toll past 30,120 on Saturday, Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman of Health Ministry, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
With hospitals across the province of Tehran filled to capacity, the region’s quarantine measures were extended for another week to halt the spread of the pandemic.
Tehran’s Governor-General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey said, “Past week’s restrictions will remain in place for another week,” noting that residents of the province are still required to wear face coverings outside home or face fines.
The restrictive measures in Tehran ban all forms of public gathering across the province, including Friday prayers. As per the order, gyms, recreational centers, ceremony halls and coffee shops are among high-risk places of business that have been shut down to curb virus transmission.
Bandpey also stressed that schools, universities and educational institutes should prioritize online learning.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi on Friday described the coronavirus pandemic’s spread across Tehran Province as ‘disturbing’ and called for cooperation between the public and the government.
“The speed of Covid-19 transmission in Tehran is disturbing,” Harirchi said, factoring in air pollution and cold weather as potential accelerators of the infectious disease.
The health official added, “Tehran and 45 other extremely coronavirus-infected cities require stricter measures and restrictions.”
Over the holidays, the National Coronavirus Taskforce banned travel to and from five major cities to contain the deadly virus in the regions on red alarm.
An official with the Health Ministry, Kianoush Jahanpour, said “the least” the government could do to slow the disease is to reimpose the same travel restrictions on every weekend and over future holidays.
Many public figures have called for stricter measures to tackle the epidemic, but government officials are reluctant to order widespread shutdowns in fear of its economic fallout.
Some 4,100 were diagnosed with Covid-19 in 24 hours, taking the national count to nearly 526,500, Lari said.
Nearly 420,000 have recovered from the infectious disease and 4,700 are in critical condition, she added.
Iran has carried out 4.48 million diagnostic tests in the past eight months to spot the infection.
Global coronavirus cases rose to 39.64 million and the death toll crossed 1.11 million.