Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on March 30 warned that the "new way of life" that the country has adopted in the thick of the Coronavirus outbreak might be extended. The statement comes after the country confirmed a total of 38,309 cases and 2,640 deaths. One of the worst-hit countries in the world, Iran confirmed its first case on February 19, however speculations of the virus reaching the country in January have emerged. Iranian Health Minister on Monday announced that more 123 people had died from the virus that found its roots in China's Wuhan in December 2019.
Hassan Rouhani said that the 'new way of life' that has been adopted is for everyone's benefit and that "these changes will likely have to stay in place for some time," Arab News reported. In an Iranian Cabinet meeting, the President further said that the country must prepare to live with Coronavirus until a treatment or vaccine is discovered.
Despite the soaring cases in the country, Iran refrained from announcing a total lockdown until Wednesday, when the country banned all intercity travel. Without imposing an official lockdown, the Iranian regime urged people to stay at home "as much as possible." Schools and universities in some provinces were closed in late February and the measure was later extended to the whole country. On a positive note, Rouhani said he had been told by top health experts and doctors that "in some provinces we have passed the peak (of the epidemic) and are on a downward trajectory".
Coronavirus in Iran hit the highest political ranks in government with several officials and figures being diagnosed with the novel disease. Iran's Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi, who was one of the foremost affected government officials has returned to public life now. In the most recent cases, the brother of former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami was affected.
(With AP inputs)