EghtesadOnline: Iran’s National Coronavirus Taskforce shut down non-essential businesses in 43 counties with extremely high Covid-19 transmission rates for one week to slow the spread of a third wave of infections.
Despite the country’s policy to keep places of business open while adhering to health protocols, the new surge in coronavirus cases, which have filled hospitals to capacity, prompted officials to close any business that is not considered crucial until the end of the week, ISNA reported.
The lockdown disciplines, which proved effective at the start of the epidemic in February, were resumed on Monday and will be extended beyond one week if necessary, according to the Health Ministry.
The 43 counties, excluding Tehran, have been subject to strict restrictive measures that include a ban on category two, three and four jobs, or any non-essential business.
While category three and four business places include beauty salons, gyms, wedding halls, coffee shops and anything involving public gatherings, category two jobs affect significantly more people.
Toy stores, furniture stores, shopping centers, candy stores, ice cream shops, real-estate agencies, tailor shops, ateliers, fabric stores, cosmetic stores and stationery stores are among a long list of non-essential businesses closed for the week.
Although Tehran County is seeing disastrously high number of cases and deaths, the stringent measures will not be implemented in the overcrowded region.
“Category three and four occupations are closed just as in previous weeks. Category two and one businesses can continue activities while observing safety guidelines,” Qasem Noude-Farahani, the head of Tehran’s Chamber of Guilds, announced on Monday.
Overnight Deaths Top 330
Overnight fatalities caused by the coronavirus totaled 337 on Monday, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The new deaths took the pandemic’s toll to 32,953.
“Within one day, 5,960 were diagnosed with Covid-19 across the country, taking the national tally of cases to 574,856,” she said.
“Starting today until the end of the month, the physical presence of government employees has been reduced to half. Services will be offered online.”
Tehran Beautification Organization on Monday launched a Covid-19 billboard campaign to encourage wearing masks, dedicating 500 billboards to the cause.
“Since the start of the spread of the coronavirus, we have used billboard designs … with contents on the necessity of using disinfectants, social distancing and thanking healthcare providers,” Barzin Zarghami, the head of the organization, said.
Adherence to health protocols in Iran has dropped below 50% in recent weeks and Zarghami hopes intensive advertising will convince more people to follow mitigation guidelines.
According to the Health Ministry’s spokeswoman, 4,980 are currently in intensive care units and 459,000 have recovered. Iran has carried out 4.75 million PCR tests to detect patients infected with SARS-CoV-2.
The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus around the world jumped to 43.4 million on Monday and the death toll reached 1.16 million, as most countries scramble to tackle a second wave of infections.