Tehran: Iran said Sunday it would allow “low-risk” economic activity to resume on April 11 as its daily rates of coronavirus infection slowed for the fifth day in a row.
“The resumption of these activities does not mean that we have abandoned the principle of staying at home,” said President Hassan Rouhani at a meeting of the Iranian anti-coronavirus working group.
The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what was described as “low risk” activities, but said the bans would remain in schools and large rallies.
A “gradual” return to “low risk” economic activity will be authorized from next Saturday in the provinces and from April 18 in Tehran, Rouhani said.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed 151 more lives in the past 24 hours, bringing the Iranian death toll to 3,603, Health Ministry spokesman Kianouche Jahanpour said Sunday at his daily press conference.
It also reported 2,483 new COVID-19 infections on the fifth consecutive day of decline, compared with a record number of 3,111 infections as of March 31.
Iran, the Middle East country hardest hit by the Chinese pandemic, has declared a total of 58,226 infections, a figure some foreign experts suspect is underestimated.
After resisting a foreclosure or quarantine measures, Iran imposed a long distance travel ban late last month.
Saturday should have marked the return to regular activity in Iran after two weeks of vacation for the Persian New Year.
“There have been a lot of people on the streets in the past two days. It’s terrifying, ”a housewife in Tehran, Zohreh, told AFP.
Jahanpour during his briefing criticized “those who think that the situation is normal now that the holidays are over, because it is not normal”.