Iran to gradually ease coronavirus restrictions

Iranian President announces the restrictions imposed on the public would be eased gradually in the coming weeks.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the restrictions imposed on the public to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country would be eased gradually in the coming weeks, the Xinhua news agency reports.

The authorities have decided to ease some restrictions implemented in the country over the past days, Rouhani was quoted as having said in a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus.

Low-risk businesses will resume their activities starting April 11 in different provinces except Tehran and from April 18 in Tehran, the President said.

"Two thirds of all government employees will work in the office from next Saturday (April 11)," he added.

A person who tests positive for coronavirus is obliged to inform his manager and put himself under a two-week self-quarantine, he noted.

Resumption of high-risk economic activities that "require a large population involvement" is still prohibited, Rouhani noted.

Iran is the hardest-hit country in the Middle East from the coronavirus, though lately it has seen a slowdown in the number of daily new cases.

According to Xinhua, the number of new cases in Iran rose by 2,483 to 58,226 on Sunday.

The death toll from the disease in Iran rose by 151 and stands at 3,603. So far, a total of 22,011 patients have recovered from the disease, while 4,057 remain in critical condition.

Rouhani also denied differences between the ministry of health and the ministry of industry over dealing with the issues around COVID-19 in the country.

At least 17 regime figures in Iran have died from coronavirus and 12 others have been infected since the beginning of the outbreak in the Islamic Republic.

High-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.

A top adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Ali Akbar Velayati, was also reported to have been infected with the virus.

Ayatollah Hashem Bathayi Golpayegani, a member of the Assembly of Experts that appoints and monitors Khamenei, died from the virus.

Last week, Iran's parliament speaker, Ali Larijani, tested positive for COVID-19 and was placed under quarantine.