EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani addressed universities in an online speech on Sunday, marking the start of a coronavirus-affected academic year.
Classes will be mostly held online in a majority of universities across the country to curb the chances of virus transmission on the campus and in dormitories, IRNA reported.
On the impact of Covid-19 on the academic year, Rouhani said, “Coronavirus has precipitated a new existence and caused universities and education centers to change the form of their activities.”
The top official stressed the need for adherence to health protocols during the new semester and expressed gratitude to the Science Ministry for making efforts to fully comply with the guidelines devised by the Health Ministry.
In the past 10 days, five to six patients have died from the contagious disease every hour. Nearly 90 were infected and 74 recovered per hour, indicating that the incoming patients still outnumber the outgoing.
Rouhani also outlined the symbiotic relationship between universities and knowledge-based firms, pointing to the number of such companies skyrocketing in recent years.
“In the past seven years, the number of knowledge-based companies have increased by 100 times, their income by 600,” the president said, hoping that with the continued relationship between the two institutions, universities will no longer require government aid to conduct research.
Rouhani also pointed to the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States in the past three years, saying that despite crippling sanctions and a deadly outbreak on the loose, the public will trust the government when activities, including education, continue as before.
“Universities are centers for innovation, a place where future leaders are shaped,” the president said, adding that constructive criticism coming from universities, if based on the realities of society, can prove beneficial.
Infections Cross 400,000 Mark
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus crossed the 400,000 mark on Sunday, a health official announced.
Some 2,080 were diagnosed with Covid-19 on Sunday, 45% of whom had developed severe symptoms to require hospitalization. The overnight infections rose the country’s caseload to 402,000, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Iran registered 128 new deaths on Sunday, taking the national toll to 23,157, Lari said.
Over 346,000 have recovered from the infectious disease and 3,790 are critically ill and hospitalized in intensive care units.
According to the spokeswoman, 88 counties across the country are on red alert and 90 are in an alarming state. She noted that there are no green, or coronavirus-free, zones in Iran.
During her daily briefing, Lari said the provinces of North Khorasan, Semnan and Isfahan have recorded the most number of deaths during the past week. The provinces of Bushehr, Qom and Lorestan have reported the most deaths during the same period.
Iran has carried out 3.55 million coronavirus tests since the pandemic was spotted in its epicenter, the central city of Qom.
Globally, 28.9 million have so far tested positive for Covid-19 and 926,000 have lost their lives.