As Iran’s daily death toll from coronavirus reportedly fell to 73, lowest in more than a month, the authorities allowed some businesses in the capital city, Tehran, to reopen on April 18. According to an Iranian local media outlet, several shops, factories and workshops resumed operations in Tehran. However, health inspectors are still urging people to wear masks and handing out gloves to contain the spread of the virus.
Currently, Iran has more than 19,000 active cases of coronavirus and the deadly virus has already claimed nearly 5,031 lives in the country. With 3,513 critical cases, the authorities decided to reopen the whole country last week. However, according to a parliamentary report, the coronavirus death toll is expected to be almost double the figure announced by the health ministry and the number of infections eight to ten times more.
Even though the government reopened businesses, Alireza Zali, who is the head of the government-run coronavirus task force, reportedly said that the virus is still in an epidemic stage in Tehran and the heavy traffic, which was seen on Saturday, is a cause of increased concern. Keeping in mind the spread of the virus, the government has, however, decided not to reopen ‘high-risk’ businesses including theatres, gyms, saunas, beauty salons, and shopping centres.
As per reports, schools and universities still remain closed and a ban on cultural, religious and sports gathering has been imposed. Iran authorities are also considering banning public events marking the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan which starts in late April. Meanwhile, earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that while Europe was facing the only coronavirus, Iran has been grappling with both, COVID-19 as well as 'sanctions' imposed on it.
Speaking further he said, however, both the viruses have been defeated by ‘solidarity among Iranian people’, international media reported. Speaking at the Anti Coronavirus Headquarters meetings, the Iranian leader reportedly compared the death rate in Europe with that of Iran and said that "Iran had done better". The President also announced that ‘low risk’ activities, after receiving authorisation code, would be allowed to resume in the capital city Tehran from April 25 after observing health protocols.