EghtesadOnline: With the end of Ramadan approaching, the Iranian government has established coronavirus-related protocols to uphold two of the hallmark traditions of the holy month amid the Covid-19 pandemic: its day of solidarity with Palestinians as well as its celebration of one month of fasting.
President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said this Friday’s International Quds Day will be held in 218 low-risk counties in the form of a gathering as opposed to the usual protest marches in locations where Friday prayers are held, President.ir reported.
International Quds Day, which is marked on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan, was initiated by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late founder of the Islamic Republic, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The capital of Tehran will organize a symbolic protest inside vehicles to condemn the atrocities of Israel against Palestinians. The administration has delegated responsibility to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps to hold the mobile protest event.
The president added, “Tehran is on red alert … Vehicles will drive from a starting point to a destination for promotion, but there will be no rally.”
Tehran is the epicenter of the infectious disease and it is on alert due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases and deaths.
The president also discussed the Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan next Sunday.
He said, “The Eid al-Fitr prayers will be held nationwide in mosques.”
The congregational prayer has until now been held in spacious grounds, but this year only mosques are allowed to conduct the prayer to curb the chances of virus transmission.
Rouhani added, “The courtyards of holy sites are scheduled to reopen after Ramadan for three hours in the morning and three hours in the evening.”
According to the president, inner parts of religious sites will remain closed but restrictions will be eased “as time goes by”.
Restaurants, Universities Reopen
Today’s coronavirus taskforce meeting, chaired by Rouhani, also announced that high-risk places of gathering will soon resume operations.
As per the plan, restaurants, which have only accepted takeout orders since the outbreak began, can fully reopen after the end of Ramadan next Sunday.
Universities can reopen on June 6 to administer tests and sporting events will take place behind closed doors.
The reopenings are part of an initiative to minimize the economic fallout of the viral infection while respecting social distancing measures.
Fatalities from the coronavirus fell under 40 for the first time in 70 days, adding only 35 overnight deaths which brought the death toll to 6,937.
Iran identified 1,757 new confirmed cases on Saturday, taking the national total to 118,392. More than 93,000 have recovered and 2,700 remain in critical condition. The country has so far carried out 672,000 diagnostic tests.
The southwestern province of Khuzestan is still on emergency alert following a surge in infections.