Iran will make wearing face mask mandatory in the capital Tehran from Saturday as it set a fresh record for daily coronavirus cases for the third time this week.
Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said on Tuesday that most of the provinces have been classified as “red” – the highest level on the country’s color-coded risk scale – adding that, “We are witnessing a more acute situation in Tehran", according to IRNA.
He said that wearing a face mask will be mandatory in Tehran as of Saturday.
According to the Health Ministry, Iran registered a record 4,151 new coronavirus cases from Monday to Tuesday, with the total number of identified cases in the worst-hit country in the West Asia rising to 479,825.
Of the new cases detected since Monday, 2,127 patients have been admitted to the hospitals across the country, ministry’s spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.
Among those undergoing treatment in medical centers at present, 4,200 coronavirus patients have critical health conditions, Lari noted.
She added that 227 patients died in the same period, bringing the total number of fatalities to 27,419.
At least 394,800 patients have recovered from the coronavirus infection so far or have been discharged from hospitals across Iran, the spokeswoman said.
Lari also said that all but one of Iran’s 31 provinces have been declared “red zones”.
After declining for weeks, the deaths and infections have been on the rise in Iran since the beginning of September.
The worsening situation caused authorities to reimpose restrictive measures in Tehran Province for a week from Saturday.
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.
The restrictions are largely the same as those taken earlier during the pandemic by Iran, which has so far stopped short of imposing a full lockdown.
They had been progressively eased from April to avoid deepening an economic crisis precipitated by the reimposition of heavy sanctions by the United States in 2018.
President Hassan Rouhani has warned that flouters of new restrictions will be penalized.