1252 GMT September 24, 2021
Tehran Grand Bazaar and banks as well as all public and private organizations and offices in the Iranian capital will be closed for six days, starting as of Tuesday, in an effort to curb the COVID-19 pandemic in the province mainly sparked by the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant, known as Delta, said a provincial official.
The same closures and COVID restrictions are enforced in the northern province of Alborz, neighboring Tehran, IRNA reported.
Speaking to IRNA on Monday, Gholamreza Abbas-Pasha, the deputy governor-general of Tehran Province for management and resources development, added the restrictions will be imposed following the approval by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus and a directive by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
He added that the closures will also apply to less-essential and nonessential businesses in the twin provinces.
The official said based on the anti-coronavirus task force’s approval, travel to and from the two provinces are also prohibited, warning that a failure to comply with the ban will result in forfeiture.
Earlier in the day, the Iranian government’s spokesman Ali Rabiei announced the closures saying they will be in force until July 25.
Based on the official Iranian calendar, Wednesday is a holiday on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha and the country’s state-own organizations and offices have also been decided to be closed on Thursdays by late August as part of efforts to control the coronavirus spread and electricity consumption, he added.
Rabiei stressed that the closures are aimed at preventing public gatherings at any level to bring down the COVID death toll and infections, saying, any travel as well as family and public gatherings can result in being infected with the deadly virus.
On Sunday, Iran’s Health Ministry announced that an increasing trend is being reflected by the country’s number of daily COVID-19 deaths and infections as new coronavirus variants have spread into most provinces.
The Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadar Lari said this comes as compliance with the health protocols has decreased significantly.
She noted that over the past seven days, the number of the people referred to hospitals with COVID-19 symptoms witnessed a growth of 25 percent, adding hospitalizations and deaths also increased by 35 percent and 18.5 percent respectively in this period.
Lari said the highest number of hospitalizations during last week pertained to the provinces of Ilam (western Iran), Kerman (southeastern Iran), Yazd (central Iran), Mazandaran (northern Iran) and Hormuzgan (southern Iran).
She regretted that observance of the health protocols in the country has reached an unprecedentedly low level (48 percent) since the beginning of the outbreak in late February 2020, listing as having the least compliance levels the provinces of Gilan (northern Iran), Alborz (northern Iran), Kerman, Fars (southern Iran), Hormuzgan and Sistan and Baluchestan (southeastern Iran).
The Health Ministry announced in a statement on Monday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 213 and 25,441, respectively, in the past 24 hours.
According to the statement, the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country stand at 87,374 and 3,548,704, respectively.
It added that 4,361 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 2,740 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 3,152,653 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
It also announced that 25,118,248 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country, and 8,818,372 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered.
The Health Ministry said 169 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 166 are in the orange zone (high-risk).
Based on a decision by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, travel to and from these cities is prohibited.
The number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities are 113 and zero, respectively, according to the ministry.