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Lockdown restrictions reinstated in Tehran as cases spike

Iran's government has decided to re-impose some lockdown restrictive measures in a bid to contain a surge in Covid-19 cases in the capital.

A girl walks at a bazaar as she covers her face with a scarf, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, Iran, July 8, 2020. WANA (West Asia News Agency) Abdollah Heidari via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVI

Iran is set to bring back some lockdown measures in the capital Tehran following a surge in Covid-19 cases that the government is concerned could spiral out of control after the country lifted many of its original lockdown restrictions.

Around two months ago Iran announced a gradual easing of lockdown measures. People went back to work as businesses re-opened, which led to a steady increase in Covid-19 cases placing a great deal of pressure on hospitals and medical staff.

Governor-General Anourshirvan Mohseni Bandpey announced that a week-long complete lockdown will be implemented in Iran's capital. "The closure of coffee shops, zoos, beauty parlors, cinemas, theaters, language institutes, swimming pools, gyms, mosques, wedding halls, and libraries are among the measures," Bandpey said. 

The new lockdown will be enforced with immediate effect by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance as soon as the official order to shut down cultural centers is issued.

New measures to curb the virus spread

Iranian women wearing protective gear amid the Covid-19 pandemic shop at the Tajrish Bazaar market in the capital Tehran on July 14, 2020.
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Iranian women wearing protective gear amid the Covid-19 pandemic shop at the Tajrish Bazaar market in the capital Tehran on July 14, 2020.ATTA KENAREAFP

According to the new measures there will be a ban on all social gatherings including weddings, funerals, and seminars, as according to Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi 40 percent of infections result from family gatherings.

Harirchi stated: "In most provinces, family gatherings are responsible for over 40 percent of transmissions; 51 percent due to close contact with an infected family member and only 8 percent in work environments”.

He added that roughly one-fifth of Iran's total daily death toll is currently caused by coronavirus:  "About 1,050 people lose their lives in Iran every day and more than 200 of the deaths involve Covid-19 patients".

Health authorities consider the week-long shutdown as a necessary precaution and the situation will be assessed by the end of this week to determine the feasibility of another lockdown.


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