UPDATE, 1130 GMT:
Iran’s record for daily Coronavirus cases has soared to 12,543, a rise of about 8% on Wednesday’s previous high mark of 11,780. The total is now 762,068.
The Health Ministry announced 459 deaths, taking the official toll to 41,493.
UPDATE, NOV. 15:
President Hassan Rouhani has given a vague indication of what might be included in measures to contain the Coronavirus surge.
Rouhani told the National Coronavirus Task Force on Saturday that “the minimisation of gatherings and traffic [is] essential”. He said the plan will be completed this week and implemented from Saturday, November 21.
“The goal of the intensification of these restrictions is for the people to fully understand that this is an state of emergency and everyone must help to get us out of this situation with the least harm,” Rouhani said.
He declared that “people should have 100% trust” in the National Task Force and Iranian authorities.
The Health Ministry announced 452 deaths on Saturday, the 7th straight day with more than 450 fatalities.
The official death toll is now 41,134.
The Ministry reported 11,203 cases, the 4th straight day with more than 11,000 infections. The official total is now 749,525.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, NOV. 14: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has appealed for a “comprehensive plan” to deal with a Coronavirus surge setting records for deaths and cases.
Rouhani told the National Coronavirus Task Force on Thursday:
Considering the entry of the country into a new stage of the Coronavirus outbreak and the need to cut the chain of infection as soon as possible and reduce the mortality rate…
riIt requires coordinated measures and careful monitoring of activities by various agencies and a comprehensive plan to combat with this disease in line with the outbreak situation in different cities across the country.
He said the plan would “control the disease in the steps of prevention, follow-up, restriction, and new treatment”.
But he gave no details of any measures. Instead, he blamed US sanctions for the scale of the outbreak and tried to assure, “The process of managing coronavirus in the country since the beginning of the virus’ outbreak has seen ups and downs, which according to information gained, are very valuable experiences.”
The number of official daily cases has almost tripled since Iran broke the 4,000 mark on October 6. Daily deaths have almost doubled.
On Friday, the Health Ministry announced 461 fatalities, just below Wednesday’s record of 462, bringing the official toll to 40,582.
There were 11,737 cases, close to Wednesday’s mark of 11,780. The official total is now 738,322.
The head of Tehran’s city council, Mohsen Hashemi, said last weekend that the capacity of the capital’s cemetery had tripled with digging of “three-story graves“.
Experts, including the head of Iran’s Medical Council, have called for a two-week lockdown to avoid a “coronavirus massacre” and to help exhausted medical staff, more than 350 of whom have died from the virus.
Minoo Mohraz, a member of the National Coronavirus Task Force To Combat the Coronavirus, supported the pleas. He said the lack of lockdown in Tehran, with more than 8 million people, is “a disaster”.
Rouhani has issued a mask mandate, beginning in Tehran and extending to other cities. The capital has implemented restrictions on businesses, schools, and mosques since October 3.
But amid Iran’s economic crisis, the Government has balked at reimposing spring measures which closed many public places.
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh tried to shift attention to the US on Thursday, telling an international meeting of ministers in the energy sector:
US sanctions depriving Iran of hydrocarbon revenues has caused the country to face problems in handling the new Coronavirus.
Therefore, I believe that the US Administration is responsible for the deaths of 400 Iranian people every day due to the Coronavirus pandemic.