News Alerts

03 May 2020 | 02:44 PM UTC

Iran: Mosques to reopen in some areas May 4 /update 25

Iran News Alert

Iranian authorities announce that mosques in areas with lower COVID-19 infection rates will be permitted to reopen from May 4; follow official directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/3/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/31/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Tehran). COUNTRY/REGION Iran

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Event

President Hassan Rouhani has announced that mosques in certain areas of Iran will be permitted to reopen as of Monday, May 4. All mosques were closed in early March as part of efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Iran's health ministry has divided the country into white, yellow, and red (low, medium, and high risk) areas based on the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. All white areas, 132 counties and around a third of the country's administrative divisions, will be permitted to reopen mosques providing that they follow social distancing guidelines. Depending on the rate of infection, the health ministry has also said that schools in these areas may be able to reopen from Saturday, May 16.

On Wednesday, April 29, President Rouhani announced that the government was preparing to ease restrictions governing work and business activity in place since March. Rouhani stated that work and production were as essential to the country as following medical precautions, and that Iran should be reopened for business due to the uncertainty over when the pandemic might end. Following the statement, the Iranian Customs Administration announced that two additional border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan would be reopened for trade on Thursday, April 30, bringing the total of open crossings to six.

Iranian authorities previously announced the partial easing of COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday, April 22, despite a continued rise in death toll rates. Parks, gardens, and recreational areas have since reopened as part of the easing of measures while gyms, restaurants, and cafés remain closed until further notice. Additionally, government offices began reopening nationwide from Saturday, April 11, with the exception of those in Tehran.

As of Sunday, May 3, there have been 97,424 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Iran, including 6203 deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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