Tehran, Iran – As Iranian authorities expect the country to soon surpass the fourth major wave of COVID-19 infections, local travel is banned on days leading up to religious holidays to mark the end of Ramadan.
Eid al-Fitr, celebrated by Muslims around the world, is marked by Iranians on Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday is a weekend in the country. Millions often travel during long vacations.
According to the health ministry, 283 more Iranians have died in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 74,524. Another 13,576 cases were also registered for a total of more than 2.64 million infections.
Alireza Raeisi, spokeswoman for the national anti-coronavirus headquarters, said on Saturday that travel to all municipalities was banned from 2pm local time on Tuesday, and the ban would continue until next Saturday at noon.
As in previous times when the holidays have been exaggerated, many are likely to consider penalties part of their travel expenses because they are not burdensome.
In towns classified “red” on the scale indicating the severity of the explosions, violators of the ban will face a 10 million rally ($ 47) fine, and those in “orange” and “yellow” towns have to pay half the amount.
According to Raisi, 46 cities across Iran’s 32 provinces are still classified as “red” while 263 are “orange” and 139 are “yellow”.
In the worst towns, most businesses are open but others, including indoor pools and gyms, cafes, cinemas and zoos have been ordered to close. If a business violates the rules in “red” towns, officials say it will be closed for three weeks.
School and university entrance exams are also planned to go ahead on their own, a decision that sparked several student protests last week.
‘The first vaccine is the best vaccine’
President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that all provinces across the country have on several occasions hit their peak infections and are expected to decrease cases in the coming weeks.
He told a televised session of the national anti-coronavirus task force the “highest” fourth wave that has engulfed the country dominated by the variety was first found in the United Kingdom to be more contagious than original variety.
This is while the first cases of infection with a variety found in South Africa and India were identified in Iran last week.
“The best vaccine is the first vaccine,” Rouhani said as the country’s efforts to import more foreign vaccines continue to be delayed.
“We hope we can vaccinate our endangered people, whether those at risk due to age or due to underlying diseases, at the end of this government to say that we control the deaths,” the outgoing president said. second term in office ended in early August.
After frontline healthcare workers and those subjected to many underlying diseases, now more than 80 Iranians are registered for vaccines. The government launched a website on Saturday to register people and give them a vaccination appointment online.
Only two million doses of Chinese, Russian, Indian, Cuban, and AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX have been given to Iranians in a country of more than 82 million.
Many cases of misuse of vaccines have been recorded in different municipalities despite the small number of vaccinations. The head of a Tehran hospital was fired last week for giving jabs reserved for hospital staff to relatives and acquaintances.
Rouhani said about nine million additional doses are expected in as little as a month, with no specific jabs.
In addition to the SOBERANA 02 vaccine from Cuba, developed in cooperation with the Pasteur Institute of Iran, three other locally produced vaccines have been subjected to various phases of human trials and are expected to be mass -produced eventually. in the summer.