National DeskDaily coronavirus cases dropped below 10,000 for the first time in almost a month in Iran which has imposed tough restrictions to stem the spread of virus in the country.
Health Ministry’s spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Friday that 9,594 new positive cases were detected from Thursday to Friday, bringing the total number to 1,092,617, according to IRNA.
The number of fatalities has also considerably declined in recent days.
The spokeswoman put the death toll at 51,728 after 232 people lost their lives due to the coronavirus in a 24-hour period.
Lari added that 34 cities are still classified as “red”— the highest category in the country's virus risk scaling.
Iran has opted for a color-coded system of white for low-risk parts of the country, orange and yellow for medium-risk and red for high-risk areas.
The ministry’s official noted that the country has seen a significant decline both in hospitalizations and deaths in recent days because of the implementation of the restrictions and people’s good cooperation.
However, she expressed concern over gatherings on Yalda Night, an ancient cultural festival marking the arrival of winter and the longest night of the year. Iranians mark the festive occasion on December 21 every year. They celebrate Yalda by gathering at the home of the elders until after midnight.
She said that the country’s medical staff, who are fiercely fighting the deadly virus, expect the people to comply with the restrictions and refrain from holding Yaldi Night gatherings.
Iranian Health Minister Saeid Namaki said on Wednesday the number of high-risk cities has declined to 34 from 160 since November 21 when the government imposed new restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
In late November, Iran announced new restrictions, including closing nonessential businesses and services in 160 cities, as well as a ban on cars leaving or entering these locations.
A 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. ban on all driving is also in force in these areas.
Iran is also trying to buy vaccine from other countries for the treatment of the coronavirus patients. However, the country is facing obstacles created by the US sanctions.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that US sanctions are making it difficult for Iran to purchase medicine and health supplies from abroad, including COVID-19 vaccines needed to contain the worst outbreak in the West Asia, according to AP.
“Our people should know that for any action we plan to carry out for importing medicine, vaccines and equipment, we should curse [US President Donald] Trump a hundred times," Rouhani was quoted as saying by IRNA.
He said even simple transactions to purchase medicine from other countries had become extremely difficult and that it can take “weeks” to transfer funds.
Last week, Iran said it is working on its own vaccine, with testing on human patients expected to begin next month. It plans to buy 20 million vaccine doses from abroad.