President Rouhani permits provinces to set own restrictions
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has authorized the provinces across the country to set restrictions in line with the necessary measures to combat and contain the new coronavirus as the number of infections and death toll has spiked.
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Rouhani made the remarks at a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday, joined by provincial governors via video links.
He hailed the Iranian people's cooperation in the fight against the outbreak and the sacrifices made by medical staff over the past more than four months that the country is grappling with the highly contagious virus.
In the fifth month of the battle, different economic, cultural and spiritual activities can go on while adhering to hygiene protocols, Rouhani said, adding, "In fact, we say yes to continuing activities, but no to unnecessary movements and gatherings."
The Iranian president also stressed that some provinces have passed the peak of the disease while some others will pass the peak in coming days.
During the meeting, he said, it was decided that a red situation would be declared based on the conditions of a certain region or county, rather than a province.
"Accordingly, in any province, whose counties encounter a problem, the provincial committee should immediately formulate required predictions and limitations and send them to the security, social and health committee so that necessary restrictions can be enforced in those areas after the president's approval," he noted.
Rouhani emphasized that affordable and sufficient face masks have to be provided pending a decision to make wearing them mandatory in high-risk areas.
He also announced September 5 and 7 as the dates set for the opening of schools and universities, respectively.
Iran, which has been subject to inhumane US sanctions, is among the countries hit hard by the coronavirus that first showed up in China in late December 2019 before spreading across the globe.
According the latest figures released by the Health Ministry, 200,262 Iranians have contracted the disease and 9,392 have died while 159,192 patients have recovered so far.