EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday announced that most provinces across Iran are reporting a decline in infections, as National Coronavirus Headquarters removed a further 22 cities from red alert, leaving only 12 on the highest alert level.
“Due to measures taken over the past two months, the disease is on a downward trend in a majority of provinces,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by President.ir during the meeting of the headquarters.
According to the top official, the number of red cities have dropped from 160 to 12 over the past three weeks as a third wave of infections subsided.
The president said, “Whenever we think it’s over … the disease peaks in the immediate weeks.”
Rouhani pleaded with the public to refrain from holding Yalda night celebrations that could “counter and disturb” the “good circumstances”.
Yalda, held on Dec. 21 this year, is a festivity that celebrates the winter solstice on the longest night of the year and has raised fears of a sharp rise in private in-home gatherings that could trigger a resurgence.
The list of cities still on red alert, announced by Spokesman of National Coronavirus Headquarters Alireza Raeisi, are mostly located in northern provinces, which are popular tourist destinations.
Referring to the nightly curfew imposed in red and orange cities, Raeisi said, “We have handed out fines to 600,000 drivers for breaching the curfew. Intercity travel has declined by 31% since travel restrictions to and from red and orange cities were enforced. Some 772,000 private cars were forced to return to city limits in the past three weeks.”
Infections Exceed 1.1m
Coronavirus infections reported in the past 10 months surpassed 1.1 million on Saturday, Health Ministry’s Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“Some 8,200 patients were identified in one day, 1,286 of whom were admitted to hospitals. The total number of patients reached 1,100,818,” she said.
The daily death toll remained under 300 for the fourth day in a row.
Lari said at least 221 Covid-19 patients lost their lives, pushing the tally of fatalities to 51,949.
“Over 800,000 have recovered from the infectious disease and 5,700 are in intensive care units. Iran has performed 6.65 million diagnostic tests to identify Covid-19,” she added.
The number of worldwide coronavirus cases crossed 71.5 million on Saturday and fatalities rose to 1.6 million.