Need to Stick to COVID-19 Guidelines Despite Easing of Business Restrictions

Iran has relaxed coronavirus confinement measures in a phased manner, shifting to a policy of Smart Distancing to rescue its troubled economy while keeping the public safe from the pandemic
Need to Stick to COVID-19 Guidelines Despite Easing of Business RestrictionsNeed to Stick to COVID-19 Guidelines Despite Easing of Business Restrictions

Despite rolling back COVID-19 restrictions for most businesses, Iranian officials stressed that “there is no such thing as return to normality”, as the country’s rate of infections continued to drop but deaths inched upward on Monday.
On the same day that Iran allowed inter-province travels and let medium-risk businesses to reopen, government officials used media platforms to convey a single message: Stay at home.
Government Spokesman Ali Rabiei said, “I should remind you that basically there is no such thing as return to normality, and we must continue to observe health protocols,” ISNA reported.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi also emphasized that the easing of confinement measures was aimed at reviving economic activities, but the public must abide by the stay-at-home policy.
Iran’s tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,294 on Monday, down by 49 a day earlier, bringing the national total to 83,505. In the past 24 hours, the infectious disease claimed the lives of 91, up by four from the previous day, bringing the death toll to 5,209, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.
The health official noted that nearly 60,000 have recovered from the respiratory illness and 3,389 are in critical condition. Iran has so far conducted 353,000 coronavirus tests to detect COVID-19.
“Considering the reopening of businesses and the rise in intercity travels, it is important more than ever to take heed of social distancing, use disinfectants, wash hands frequently and adhere to health advices,” Jahanpour added.


Coexistence With Coronavirus

During his weekly press conference on Monday, Rabiei said, “We have no choice but to live with social distancing measures and health protocols.”
Iran has relaxed confinement measures in a phased and gradual basis over the past two weeks, shifting to a policy of Smart Distancing to rescue an economy hammered by US sanctions while keeping the public safe from the pandemic.
The spokesman also announced that so far 72 million Iranians have been screened for the novel coronavirus, adding that, “We have entered the second phase of screening in the form of targeted testing and identifying anyone in contact with a COVID-19 patient.”
Harirchi said on state TV that travelling is one of the main ways for the contagion to spread, adding, “The reopening of medium-risk businesses coupled with the removal of inter-province travels has left the province of Mazandaran vulnerable to coronavirus transmission.”
The deputy health minister said the public under no condition should travel to the northern province of Mazandaran.
Mazandaran is one of the six provinces registering an increase in COVID-19 patients last week after low-risk businesses resumed operations. 
Hospitals in the tourist hotspot were pushed to capacity in late February and early March, raising concerns that the removal of the travel ban could result in another wave of coronavirus cases in the region and elsewhere.
Worldwide COVID-19 cases neared 2.5 million on Monday and deaths reached 165,000.

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