Call for Extending Covid-19 Curbs in Tehran

Call for Extending Covid-19 Curbs in Tehran
Call for Extending Covid-19 Curbs in Tehran

In view of the looming expiration of lockdown disciplines in Tehran, the head of the capital’s coronavirus taskforce has called for a two-week extension of the prevailing restrictions.
Pointing to the “red” state of the populous city, Alireza Zali on Tuesday strongly recommended the extension of restrictive measures “at least” until early September to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, ISNA reported.
The health official laid special focus on remote working for office employees to thin out the capital’s crowded public transport system.
“Despite an 11% decline in suspected Covid-19 patients visiting hospitals, Tehran Province is still on red alert,” Zali said.
According to Zali, provincewide infected patients hospitalized in general wards rose by 402 on Tuesday and 133 more were admitted to ICU.
Current coronavirus measures enforced in the province include the closure of high-risk places of business as well as a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. Cinema theaters, swimming pools, beauty salons and gyms are among the shutdown businesses.    
Iran reported 2,385 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus, taking the national tally to 347,835, the spokeswoman of Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA on Tuesday.
“Within a 24-hour period, 168 Covid-19 patients lost their lives, taking the countrywide death toll to 19,972,” Lari said.
Over 300,000 have recovered from the infectious disease since the start of the outbreak, and 3,882 are critically ill. Iran has carried out 2.91 million diagnostic tests to identify infections.



Supervision Over University Exam

Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi said 7,000 ministry personnel will supervise the enforcement of coronavirus-related health regulations during the university entrance exam scheduled for next week.
The controversial test taken by over one million students across the country is scheduled to be held over four days starting next Saturday. Both the days and the centers dedicated to the annual exam have doubled to reduce the chances of virus transmission.
Next Saturday also sees the start of the lunar month of Muharram when millions of Muslims take to mosques to mourn the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Raeisi said holding religious rituals in enclosed spaces is banned. 
Officials have launched the “each home, a religious center” initiative to encourage private mourning ceremonies.
“Tehran’s coronavirus taskforce is against the physical presence of students in schools and universities during the next academic year,” Ali Maher, a member of the taskforce, said.
“A majority of students attending Tehran’s public universities live in dormitories, where it is almost impossible to observe health protocols.”
The official also pointed to the risk of increasing public movement inside the city if education centers are reopened in autumn, which would overwhelm the capital’s underprepared public transit, responsible for a majority of virus transmissions.
Global Covid-19 cases topped 22 million on Tuesday and the death toll rose past 779,000.

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