As coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Iran, the country is bracing itself for tougher measures with possible curbs on movement. As per reports, Iran recorded almost 117 new deaths in the last 24 hours, taking total to 2,757. However, Iran’s health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour also reportedly said that at least 13,911 people who were hospitalised have recovered while almost 3,511 are in critical condition.
Iran is one of the worst-hit countries in the world and the Iranian authorities have already resisted a nationwide lockdown. Iran's first Vice President, Eshaq Jahangiri in a televised public address said that ‘if necessary, we might impose tougher measures as out priority is the nation’s safety and health”. Earlier this week, Iranian authorities even reportedly said that they have started mass production of ‘highly accurate’ coronavirus testing kits that could produce results within three hours.
Currently, Iran has not taken any strict quarantine action, although the government has repeatedly urged Ithe citizens to stay confide to their house to curb the spread of the infection. In a bid to contain the virus outbreak and after weeks of refraining themselves from imposing lockdown or quarantine measures, Tehran decided on March 25 to ban all intercity travel until at least till April 8. The country has now emerged as the epicentre of the disease, which eventually originated in China with the country struggling hard to stop the spread of the disease since it registered its first case on February 19.
Without imposing an official lockdown, the authorities 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, Iranian President Hassan 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.