News ID: 275063
Published: 0351 GMT October 03, 2020

Weeklong closures announced for Tehran to stem virus surge

Weeklong closures announced for Tehran to stem virus surge

Iran on Saturday announced a one-week closure of certain businesses and institutions in Tehran Province to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the new set of restrictions, universities, boarding schools, seminaries, language schools, vocational schools, educational institutions, libraries, mosques, museums, theaters, zoos, theme parks, aqua parks, swimming pools, banquet halls, wedding venues, coffee shops, tea houses and hair salons must shut down from Saturday to Friday.

“Holding any social, cultural, religious ceremonies and gatherings is also banned,” a deputy Tehran governor said.

 Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 179 on Saturday to 26,746, and identified cases by 3,523 to 468,119, the Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told national TV.

President Hassan Rouhani warned that flouters of new restrictions will be penalized.

Speaking during a meeting of the national taskforce for fighting the coronavirus, Rouhani said civil servants and businesses will face punishment if they violate the new health guidelines.

“We approved that all our civil servants in the country, whether in governmental or non-governmental sectors, and those who own a business, will be dealt strongly if they do not care about [the rules],” he noted, explaining that punishments range from a reprimand to a one-year suspension from work.

Businesses which do not abide by the coronavirus restrictions will be closed, Rouhani added.

“Anyone who feels ill, and it is clear to them that they are ill, must not hide their illness,” Rouhani said. Otherwise, he added, they will be committing “the highest offense” that will demand “the highest punishment”.

Those who do not wear masks in public will be fined, said Rouhani, adding the amount of fines and other penalties will be determined at the next meeting of the coronavirus taskforce.

He also said that people who go to a bank, office, or shop without respecting health protocols should not receive service, otherwise the directors of those businesses will be fined.

Government employees who fail to observe regulations face measures ranging from warnings to their one-year suspension from their posts.

“Providing services to those who do not observe hygiene principles is also punishable. The person who desires service must honor the hygiene rules, and if someone does not follow the principles, we will punish the service provider,” he underlined.

The president further stressed that the situation is different in the country’s provinces, with some of them having only one peak, others two, and the remaining entering the pandemic’s third peak.

“If we want to stay away from this dangerous disease, we must precisely observe the hygiene principles,” he said.

Rouhani said penalties would be most severe in the capital, where in recent weeks the daily death toll from the coronavirus has been more than 100 compared with less than 10 at the end of the first wave of the virus earlier this year, according to Alireza Zali, the head of the Tehran coronavirus taskforce.

Zali warned in an interview on national television that if the spread of the coronavirus continues at the current rate in Tehran, there would be a three- to five-fold increase in cases and a rise in the fatality rate to between 1.5% and 3%.

Press TV and Reuters contributed to this story.



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