COVID-19 Affects 15,000, Claims 853 Lives

COVID-19 Affects 15,000, Claims 853 Lives
COVID-19 Affects 15,000, Claims 853 Lives

Nearly 15,000 people have contracted the virus known as COVID-19 as of Monday, with the death toll reaching 853, a health official announced.
Iran recorded 1,050 new cases, compared with 1,209 a day earlier, taking the national tally to 14,991, with the deaths rising by 129 to 853 in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Jahanpour said the number of laboratories equipped with coronavirus testing kits has increased to 56 nationwide, adding that nearly 5,000 have recovered.
The spokesman added, “The provinces of Mazandaran and Isfahan are still on high alert … We hope containment measures in the provinces of Qom and Gilan will slow the spread of the disease.”
The contagion was first spotted in Qom, while Gilan, Mazandaran and Isfahan are tourist hotspots.
During the online coronavirus taskforce meeting on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani said, “We still advise people to remain at home. If it’s necessary to leave the house, follow health protocols.”  
The video conference attended by the governors of all 31 provinces was chaired by the president, during which he thanked the tireless efforts of health care providers nationwide.
Rouhani also pointed to universities and schools, which were shut down in the early days of the outbreak to stem the spread of the infection.
“The taskforce will decide in its next meetings whether the closure will continue or students can return to schools and academic institutions after the New Year holidays [which ends on April 3],” he said.
He announced that the next academic year will begin on Sept. 22 as usual.



Checkpoints on Roads

The president detailed the government’s scheme to set up roadblocks at provinces’ exit points as of Tuesday to prevent the infected from leaving their hometowns.
According to Rouhani, travelers will undergo screening and those with a fever will have to return home and self-isolate. In severe cases, the suspected patients will be hospitalized.
“We ask people to cooperate with the authorities. Continuing the trip is detrimental to themselves and other people on the road and at the destination,” he said.
The number of coronavirus patients in the country is expected to rise during the upcoming 13-day Iranian New Year holidays starting March 20.
The president once again thanked the armed forces for setting up makeshift hospitals to accommodate the growing number of patients in need of hospitalization.
Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi announced the temporary release of 83,000 inmates to limit transmission in jails.
Uzbekistan is the latest in a host of countries to send medical supplies to Iran for the fight against the COVID-19.
More than 173,000 have fallen ill and 6,700 have died after contracting the virus around the world.

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