Iranian women in Tehran, October 4, 2020 (Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)
UPDATE, OCT 8:
President Hassan Rouhani has partially given way to Iran’s record daily toll from Coronavirus, confirming the temporary closure of some businesses and a national mask order.
Rouhani told the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus on Wednesday, “We know that the temporary closure of some businesses is a problem for the people, but in the current situation we have no choice but to increase restrictions.”
He said the first phase will be implemented in Tehran Province from Saturday and “if necessary, may be implemented and operational in other provinces as well”.
The President confirmed that all members of the public must wear masks even when going house to house.
The Health Ministry reported a record-setting 239 deaths on Wednesday, bringing the official total to 27,658.
Another 4,019 cases were announced, following Tuesday’s record of 4,151. The total is now 483,844.
UPDATE, 1730 GMT:
Iran has set another daily record of 4,151 cases in 24 hours.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari reported another 227 deaths.
Iran’s official totals are now 27,419 deaths and 479,825 cases, with 4,200 patients in critical condition.
UPDATE, OCT 6:
The Health Ministry has declared that 26 of Iran’s 31 provinces are now on the highest alert for Coronavirus.
Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told State TV of the “red” zones, with four more provinces at the next highest “orange” level.
While President Hassan Rouhani has rejected the reimposition of national restrictions, there have been measures at local level.
Schools, libraries, mosques and other public places in the capital Tehran are closed for a week from last Saturday. There are also closures in Zanjan province, northwest of Tehran, and cities in several other provinces.
Authorities have closed land borders and banned flights to Iraq for the annual pilgrimage of Arbaeen.
Flights were also halted to Turkey, but Civil Aviation Organization said on Monday that one will be allowed in each direction.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, OCT 5: Iran has set daily records for Coronavirus deaths and cases.
The Health Ministry reported 235 fatalities and 3,902 infections on Monday, surpassing the highest points during the first wave of the virus in the spring.
The official totals are now 27,192 deaths and 475,674 cases. Medics, activists, and some Iranian official say the actual toll is far higher.
Masoud Mardani, a member of the National Coronavirus Task Force, expressed alarm as he cited the large increase in hospitalizations in the capital Tehran and the capacity of the health care system being exceeded.
“If the people continue to travel over the weekend, we will have to establish field hospitals,” he warned.
“A Common Danger”
Speaking to the Task Force on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani called for “a common understanding of a common danger…to intensify care and supervision”.
He threatened fines on violators of social distancing; however, he continued to hold out against reimposition of measures adopted in the spring.
In March, the Government closed businesses, mosques, schools and universities, and other places and restricted travel between Iranian cities.
The measures brought the official daily cases down to 803 on May 2. Their lifting, which began on April 11, soon led to a quadrupling of cases — reaching a high of 3,574 on and a resurgence of deaths.
But amid Iran’s economic crisis, the Government refused to reverse course. The public sites remained open, and students returned to schools and universities two weeks ago.
In mid-September, a “red alert” was declared across all of Iran.
Avoiding any reference to specific steps, Rouhani said:
he only way to deal with coronavirus and break the transmission chain is prevention, and this prevention is possible with the participation of all members of society.
We must do something to strengthen empathy, coordination and synergy in the country, and we must all join hands to ensure the health and livelihood of the people in the current situation of confronting coronavirus.
He defied the economic crisis, with oil exports down up to 95%; exports collapsing between 60% and 95% with Iran’s top customers; and the currency halving in value since March and extending its historically-low record to 300,000:1 v. the US dollar.
While the economy of a developed country like Germany is facing problems due to the outbreak of Coronavirus, our country has better conditions with the efforts of production and economic sectors.
We hope that the country’s economic growth will be positive without oil or with oil at the end of the year.