The Iranian government has announced that tightened restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be imposed from Saturday, November 21, amid an increase in detected cases. Under these measures, non-essential businesses and services will close in Tehran and 160 other towns and cities within Iran which have been classified as 'red' for numbers of COVID-19 cases. Vehicles will not be permitted to enter or leave red zones as people in these areas are encouraged to stay at home. Lower restrictions will be imposed in areas 'orange' and 'yellow' areas. Red zone classification is currently in place the provinces of Ardabil, Alborz, Bushehr, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, East Azerbaijan, Gilan, Hamadan, Ilam, Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Kurdistan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, North Khorasan, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, South Khorasan, West Azerbaijan, Yazd, and Zanjan. Those under orange and yellow status include Golestan, Hormozgan, Fars, and Sistan and Baluchestan. Restrictions will remain in place at least until December 5.
Iranian authorities introduced a nightly curfew from 18:00 (local time) in Tehran and 30 provincial capitals from November 11. During curfew hours, only essential businesses can operate, including supermarkets and bakeries. The restrictions are due to last until at least December 10.
Restrictions are varied across Iran; however, the wearing of face masks in enclosed public spaces is mandatory.
As of November 21, there have been 828,377 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iran with 43,896 associated fatalities. The further international spread of the virus is to be expected in the near term
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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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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