EghtesadOnline: Iran’s new coronavirus cases dropped to its lowest in eight days on Tuesday, registering 2,089 infections, down by 185 from a day earlier, a health official announced.
Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said they have identified 62,589 coronavirus patients countrywide since the beginning of the outbreak. Total deaths neared 4,000 as Iran reported 133 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 3,872, ISNA reported.
“Iran has conducted 211,136 coronavirus tests,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.
So far, 27,039 have recovered from the infectious disease and nearly 4,000 are in critical condition in hospitals across the country.
The coronavirus taskforce issued a statement on Tuesday regarding Smart Distancing Initiative that allows the resumption of low-risk economic activities starting next Saturday in all provinces, excluding Tehran.
The statement reads, “All [low-risk] businesses are to register on the Health Ministry’s website and commit to comply with the ministry’s protocols to receive a permit that authorizes the establishments to reopen.”
“Due to the highly infectious nature of the coronavirus, social distancing is the most effective way of controlling the virus’s transmission … Social distancing can prevent disease transmission by up to 95%.”
As per the plan, schools, universities, cultural centers and high-risk businesses, such as hair salons and gyms, will remain closed until further notice and workplaces can reopen starting next Saturday with two-thirds of employees from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The government will ease restrictions on businesses in the Tehran Province as of April 18.
Intensive Care Units Full
Deputy Health Minister Qasem Janbabaei during a video press conference on Tuesday said all the country’s 4,000 beds in Intensive Care Units have been filled, while 50% of all hospital beds remain empty.
According to Janbabaei, the respiratory illness can be contained by May 20 if social distancing is observed.
He said, “Anything other than social distancing will delay the containment. Wrong social behaviors can trigger a new wave of coronavirus cases.”
Health Minister Saeed Namaki said nearly 70 million people have been screened for the infection and those who showed symptoms have been isolated.
The official stressed that the country will pay a hefty price, if it were to neglect people’s health for the sake of economy.
Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce, also shared his concerns about the rise in inter-city travels in Tehran ever since the Persian New Year holidays ended on April 3.
Zali said, “The increasing presence of people in streets and their use of public transport in Tehran is a cause for concern …We will make decisions in this regard after a meeting with Tehran City Council.”
Iranian parliamentarians were tested for the contagion ahead of Tuesday’s session after roughly 40 days of closure.
According to one lawmaker, 11 have tested positive for the virus and in total 50 members could be infected, ISNA reported.
The United States has the most confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, followed by Spain, Italy, Germany, France, China and Iran.