Iran county placed under lockdown due to coronavirus

County in southwestern Iran placed under lockdown due to residents not observing social distancing rules.

Elad Benari ,

Tehran
Tehran
iStock

A county in southwestern Iran was placed under lockdown on Sunday to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reported, citing the Iranian Tasnim news agency.

Gholamreza Shariati, governor of the Khuzestan province which was placed on lockdown, was quoted as having said that people had not been observing social distancing rules.

“Because of this the number of corona patients in the province has tripled and the hospitalization of patients has risen by 60 percent,” Shariati said.

Khuzestan province borders Iraq and includes the county of Abadan. During the lockdown, banks and offices in Abadan will be closed until the end of the week and entry corridors to the county from the north and east have been closed.

Offices will be closed and travel restrictions will also apply to nine other counties in oil-rich Khuzestan, Tasnim cited Shariati as saying.

Iran reported its first case of coronavirus in February and for a time was the hardest hit country in the Middle East from the pandemic.

At least 31 members of the Iranian parliament contracted the virus, including its speaker Ali Larijani, who tested positive for COVID-19.

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.

The country recently eased some of its lockdown measures, permitting mosques to reopen in 132 counties, around one third of the country's administrative divisions.

On Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani announced that schools will open next week.

On Friday, prayer gatherings resumed in up to 180 Iranian cities and towns seen at low risk of coronavirus contagion after a two-month suspension, state media reported.

At the same time, coronavirus infections in Tehran are still rising, according to Reuters.

The total number of deaths from coronavirus rose by 51 in the past 24 hours to 6,640, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV on Sunday. A total 107,603 cases have been diagnosed, he said.




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