Iran reimposes COVID-19 restrictions

Iran orders closures of non-essential businesses in 275 cities, including Tehran, amid concerns over Delta variant.

Elad Benari ,

Lab technician working on coronavirus vaccine
Lab technician working on coronavirus vaccine
Reuters

Iran announced on Sunday it would be reimposing coronavirus restrictions on major cities, as the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant spurs fears of another devastating surge in the nation, The Associated Press reported.

As part of the restrictions, Iran ordered the closures of non-essential businesses in 275 cities, including the capital of Tehran.

The shutdown of all public parks, restaurants, dessert shops, beauty salons, malls and bookstores applies to the country's "red" and "orange" zones, or municipalities ranked as having an elevated risk of COVID-19.

The government said it was also imposing a travel ban between cities with high infection rates.

Iran's new restrictions are designed to slow the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant first detected in India, which on Saturday President Hassan Rouhani warned was driving a potential "fifth wave" of infections in the country.

Iran has for months wrestled with the worst outbreak in the Middle East of COVID-19.

In a clear sign of the scale of the outbreak, dozens of top officials have fallen ill. At least 30 lawmakers have tested positive in recent months and some have died.

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 Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.

Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi recently promised that his government would start rapid COVID-19 vaccinations in the country.

Iran has so far imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people. It has also developed several homegrown vaccines, though the effectiveness of those is not known.



top