Iran, affected by COVID, will ban local travel ahead of Eid al-Fitr | Coronavirus pandemic news


Tehran, Iran – As Iranian authorities hope the country can soon overcome a fourth major wave of COVID-19 infections, local travel has been banned during the days leading up to religious holidays on the occasion of the end of Ramadan.

Eid al-Fitr, celebrated by Muslims around the world, will be marked by Iranians on Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday is a weekend in the country. Millions of people often travel during the long holidays.

According to the health ministry, 283 more Iranians have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 74,524. Another 13,576 cases were also recorded for a total of more than 2.64 million infections.

Alireza Raeisi, a spokeswoman for the national headquarters against coronavirus, said Saturday that travel to all cities will be banned from 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday, and that the ban will continue until next Saturday at noon.

COVID-19 patients are treated at Shohadaye Tajrish Hospital in Tehran [Ebrahim Noroozi/AP]

As in previous extended vacation cases, many are likely to consider penalties as part of their travel expenses, as they are not strong.

In cities classified as “red” on a scale denoting the severity of outbreaks, violators of the ban will face a fine of 10 million rial ($ 47) and those in “orange” and “yellow” cities. “they will have to pay half that amount.

According to Raisi, 46 cities in Iran’s 32 provinces are still classified as “red”, while 263 are “orange” and 139 are “yellow”.

In the hardest hit cities, most businesses are open, but some have been ordered to close, including swimming pools and gyms, cafes, cinemas and zoos. If a company violates the rules of “red” cities, officials have said it will close for three weeks.

The school and university entrance exams are also expected to continue in person, a decision that has sparked several student protests last week.

“The best vaccine is the first vaccine”

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that all provinces across the country have suffered their peak infections at some point and that cases are expected to decrease over the next few weeks.

He told a TV show of the national anti-coronavirus working group that the fourth “very high” wave that hit the country was dominated by the variant that was first found in the UK and is more contagious than the variant original.

This is while the first cases of infections with variants found in South Africa and India were identified in Iran last week.

“The best vaccine is the first vaccine,” Rouhani said as the country’s efforts to import significant volumes of foreign vaccines continue to lag behind.

“We hope to be able to vaccinate our citizens at risk, whether those at risk for age or underlying disease, at the end of this government so we can say we have controlled deaths,” the president said in his second term in office. early August.

A medical worker administers a dose of Sputnik V vaccine in Russia at the Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran [Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg]

After front-line health workers and those affected by various underlying diseases, now more than 80 Iranians are enrolled in vaccines. The government on Saturday launched a website to register people and give them an appointment to get vaccinated online.

Only two million doses of Chinese, Russian, Indian, Cuban and AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX have been administered to Iranians in a country of more than 82 million.

Several cases of vaccine embezzlement have already been reported in different cities despite the low vaccination count. The head of a Tehran hospital was fired last week for giving stings reserved for hospital staff to relatives and acquaintances.

Rouhani said he expects about nine million more doses in less than a month, without specifying the blows.

In addition to Cuba’s SOVEREIGN Vaccine 02, developed in cooperation with the Pasteur Institute of Iran, three other locally produced vaccines are undergoing various stages of human testing and are expected to be mass-produced by the end of summer.

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