Iranians defy coronavirus rules as death toll reaches 3,452

Officials have repeatedly complained that many Iranians ignored appeals to stay at home and cancel travel plans for the New Year holidays that began on March 20. (AP)
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Updated 05 April 2020

Iranians defy coronavirus rules as death toll reaches 3,452

  • The total number of cases diagnosed with the disease reached 55,743

DUBAI: A senior Iranian health official said the greater Tehran area may face a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) resurgence after many residents flouted advisories to stay home, crowding streets and causing traffic jams across the city as the country’s New Year holidays ended on Saturday.
Iran said earlier on Saturday that 158 more coronavirus patients had died in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 3,452. The total number of cases reached 55,743.
“We are still concerned about the virus, for example with the level of traffic in Tehran today and queues of cars stuck on freeways, because these people can take the virus to their homes or workplaces,” Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said on state TV.
“Even a medium level of virus here can spread to nearby cities with the high level of job-related traffic between nearby cities and Tehran,” said Harirchi, who has himself been ill with COVID-19.
“Dr. Harirchi cautioned about a probable return of coronavirus in case of negligence and said social distancing measures were absolutely necessary,” said the TV.
The television showed stores that had reopened despite a closure order on nonessential services and businesses. Only enterprises involved in production have been allowed to reopen while following anti-coronavirus precautions.

We are still concerned about the virus, for example with the level of traffic in Tehran today and queues of cars stuck on freeways, because these people can take the virus to their homes or workplaces.

Iraj Harirchi, Deputy Health Minister

Officials have repeatedly complained that many Iranians ignored appeals to stay at home and cancel travel plans for the New Year holidays that began on March 20.
Iranians traditionally travel to home provinces and popular vacation spots and organize family gatherings during the New Year holidays. Officials initially urged people to cancel such plans due to the coronavirus outbreak, and then imposed intercity travel bans on March 25.
Earlier the judiciary said most of some 70 inmates who escaped from a prison in western Iran last month are now back in jail. About 100,000 prisoners have been granted temporary release due to the coronavirus epidemic.
Iranian media have reported unrest in several prisons.


UAE to shorten Covid-19 prevention curfew by two hours

Updated 16 min 12 sec ago

UAE to shorten Covid-19 prevention curfew by two hours

  • The curfew, officially called “the national sanitization program,” will run from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m as of Saturday
  • The country has reported a total of 33,170 cases and 260 deaths from the disease

DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates will shorten from Saturday by two hours a nightly curfew meant to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, the country’s state news agency said on Friday.
The curfew, officially called “the national sanitization program,” will run from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m as of Saturday. It currently starts at 8 p.m. and ends at 6 a.m.
The country has reported a total of 33,170 cases and 260 deaths from the disease.