Iran extends restrictions as COVID-19 demise toll passes 50,000 | Center East
Partial closings, curfews and inner-city travel restrictions have been extended to regions across Iran.
Tehran, Iran – Iran has expanded many coronavirus-related restrictions across the country as the COVID-19 death toll rose over 50,000 on Saturday.
Iran, the worst hit country in the Middle East, is battling its third wave of epidemics.
One million coronavirus cases were exceeded on Thursday.
Cities across the country, including the capital Tehran, have just emerged from two-week partial shutdowns.
All but essential services in the cities were discontinued depending on their severity, and attendance at government offices was reduced.
Officials regularly update a color-coded list of cities and counties based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 hospital stays and classify them from “white,” which means no danger to “red,” which indicates the highest alert level.
As announced on Saturday, some shutdowns will continue in regions that are still classified as “red”.
A night-time curfew has also been extended to 278 cities currently classified as “orange”, marking regions that have improved.
A mandatory mask rule continues to be enforced across the country.
According to Alireza Raisi, a spokeswoman for the national coronavirus task force, 6,400 people with coronavirus have also been banned from public transport.
“Tehran on the Edge”
According to the authorities, the two-week shutdown improved Tehran’s status to “orange” after it had been “red” for months.
On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani warned that Tehran was “on the verge of” falling behind, and unless people and authorities are extremely vigilant, the metropolis could regress to pre-shutdown conditions.
A state broadcaster report on Saturday showed that Tehran’s metro stations and buses were full again when shops reopened.
“Of course it’s full again, people have to go to work,” said a man who was sitting in a packed bus.
According to Rouhani, while most parts of Iran – including Tehran – were experiencing a downward trend, cases were increasing in seven areas and required immediate attention.
“We have to continue to be careful even if a vaccine arrives,” said Rouhani.
Iran recorded its highest daily infection rate of 14,051 on November 27, while the highest single-day death toll of 486 was recorded on November 16.