New Economic Shutdown Amid Covid-19 Resurgence Ruled Out

New Economic Shutdown Amid Covid-19 Resurgence Ruled Out New Economic Shutdown Amid Covid-19 Resurgence Ruled Out

President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday rejected calls for lockdown measures to tackle a coronavirus resurgence in Iran, touting adherence to safety guidelines as the only long-term solution to the global health crisis.
In a coronavirus taskforce meeting, Rouhani reiterated his administration’s policy of keeping the country’s economy afloat amid the pandemic while observing health protocols, his website reported.
“Business dealings, economic activities and reopenings need to continue as we fully take heed of health measures; there is no second option,” he said.
Two months after the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak in Iran, the Health Ministry devised guidelines for businesses to follow to curb virus transmission as they gradually resume economic activities.
Rouhani noted that it is not feasible for any country to close down its economy for six months and added, “The public will not go for it. This [approach] is not acceptable and it is not accepted in any part of the world.”
On Saturday, nearly 2,400 were diagnosed with the coronavirus disease, known as Covid-19, taking the national tally to over 255,000. Overnight deaths caused by the contagion rose to 188 on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 12,635.
The president called for a countrywide ban on all public gatherings, “be it a wedding or a funeral”. 
Reports by coronavirus authorities across the country show that a majority of transmissions took place in family gatherings, wedding ceremonies and funerals.



Balanced Approach

During the taskforce’s meeting, Rouhani stressed on a balanced approach in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic so as not to promote complacency or fear.
“Normalization” of the contagion and “fearmongering” can both be dangerous, according to the top official, who added that both attitude creates problems.
Economic shutdown causes “chaos and hunger”, which leads to mass protests, he said.
Iran’s government issued a mandatory mask wearing order last Sunday and launched an awareness campaign to promote face coverings in enclosed public areas.
Despite the viral infection, Iran will hold its several annual university entrance exams under strict safety guidelines. 
In the meeting, the president said he is willing to improve safety protocols to obtain the Health Ministry’s approval to hold the already-postponed nationwide tests.
At least 15 of the country’s 31 provinces have reported either excessive or alarming numbers of coronavirus cases, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said. 
The eastern South Khorasan Province was among “alarming” regions for the first time since the virus resurged. 
More than 217,000 have recovered from the viral infection and some 3,340 are in serious condition. 
Iran has administered 1.5 million diagnostic tests to detect infected patients.
Confirmed coronavirus cases surged worldwide to 12.65 million on Saturday, up by 228,000, a record daily rise according to World Health Organization.

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