Relatives of a Coronavirus victim mourn at the gate of a cemetery near Babol, northern Iran, April 30, 2020 (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Coronavirus continues its resurgence in Iran, with the declaration of more “red zones” despite Government lifting of restrictions amid economic crisis.
On Sunday, the Health Ministry announced more than 100 deaths for the seventh day out of the last eight.
The 116 fatalities took the official death toll to 9,623. The Ministry declared another 2,368 cases, with 1,114 hospitalizations and a rise to 2,887 in critically-ill patients.
The Ministry has announced 204,952 confirmed cases, but medics, activists, and some Iranian official have said the figure is far higher.
Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari expressed concern over a surge of the virus in four provinces: Khuzestan in southwest Iran, Kermanshah in the west, East Azarbaijan in the northwest, and Hormozgan in the south.
The areas are among 10 of Iran’s 31 provinces which remain as “red zones”, more than two months after the Government started reopening businesses, mosques, and other public spaces.
Tehran’s daily cases had fallen to 803 on May 2 before resurging, reaching a high of 3,574 on June 4.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said hospital beds in Kurdistan Province in western Iran, but President Hassan Rouhani tried to reassure Iranians on Saturday:
1,200 centers across the country are ready to take samples and tests from people and 17,500 nursing and health homes are also prepared to provide hygiene and treatment services to people.
But Rouhani acknowledged:
According to scientists and health professionals, we can’t predict a specific time for the end of the disease….The virus won’t go away on its own, so we have to prepare ourselves for a long-term fight against it.