School Year Starts Under Shadow of Pandemic

School Year Starts Under Shadow of Pandemic
School Year Starts Under Shadow of Pandemic

The new school year started in Iran on Saturday morning as the Covid-19 pandemic compelled most pupils to stay at home for the beginning of the semester. 
Vocational schools and schools located in rural areas resumed in-person teaching on Saturday as first-graders across the country physically attended school for the first time, ISNA reported. 
President Ebrahim Raeisi visited a small-town school in Tehran’s Shahr-e- Rey district to launch the new school year as he underlined the necessity of educational justice. 
“According to our plans, we’ll soon have 70% vaccine coverage,” the president said. “It is my request from the Education Ministry to move toward in-person learning while observing health protocols.”
Iran closed down schools and universities and switched to virtual classes in February 2020 when the virus first emerged in the country, depriving poor students of equal access to education. 
So far, nearly 50 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. Some 34.5 million people have received a first dose and 15.2 million have been fully vaccinated.
Raeisi said, “We’re at a point where, instead of imposing restrictions, we need to decide on removing them.”
Iran on Saturday identified 10,800 new infections and 280 more deaths, a significant drop compared to the peak of the fifth wave when daily reports of 40,000 cases and 700 fatalities had become everyday news.
The top official pointed out that his administration is drawing up a new scheme to gradually restrict unvaccinated individuals’ access to public services. 
The plan effectively makes vaccination compulsory throughout the nation. 



Mandatory Vaccination

The government intends to require proof of immunity to give citizens access to an array of services in the near future, spokesman for the National Coronavirus Headquarters said. 
“We have given the public a two-to-three weeks window to get inoculated,” Alireza Raeisi said, adding that only vaccinated people will be able to purchase airplane, bus or train tickets to travel.
“As more people get vaccinated, we can reopen many businesses. Restaurants, wedding halls and gyms have been closed for nearly two years now,” he noted.
According to the health official, fully-vaccinated individuals can regain access to these facilities if they follow safety rules. 
Iran has lowered vaccine eligibility age to 18 throughout the country after large shipments of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine arrived into the country.
Some 60 million more jabs will be imported only in October. The country is immunizing university students to pave the way for large-scale reopening of universities before the semester ends. 
Children of school-age between 12 to18 years old have also been prioritized to receive Covid vaccines at vaccination centers. School personnel and teachers are also getting vaccinated. 
The Health Ministry gave out some 688,000 shots in a 24-hour period. It administered as many as 1.4 million jabs in one single day last week as its supply of coronavirus vaccines allowed faster rollout.
Worldwide coronavirus cases rose to 231.9 million on Saturday as mortalities from the respiratory illness reached 4.7 million.

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