Sunday, 20 September, 2020

Lockdown no solution to coronavirus: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has defended his administration’s policy to keep the economy open amid the spread of the coronavirus, saying lockdowns would not be an ultimate remedy to contain the disease.

“Our people should know that closing the business is not the solution for their safety. No one should say lock the market for the safety of the people, lock the schools and universities for the safety of children. Lockdown is not a solution to counter corona (virus),” said Rouhani on Saturday while attending a national taskforce to combat the pandemic.

The comments came hours after the Iranian health ministry said that number of people infected by the virus had increased by 2,139 since Friday to reach a total of nearly 400,000. The number of deaths had also increased by 116 to top 230,29 while there have been over 344,000 recoveries, according to health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

Rouhani’s government imposed a national lockdown in March when there was a clear spike in the number of coronavirus cases in Iran. Bans on movement and travel were lifted a month later although the government has maintained certain restrictions to prevent a new surge in the number of cases.

Rouhani also announced on Saturday that an annual religious procession in which millions of Iranians march into Iraq to visit holy sites in the Arab country would not be held in the middle of October.

 “The Iraqi authorities have clearly announced that they are not prepared to host guests of the Arba’een procession,” said the Iranian president, adding that ceremonies to mark 40 days since the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) would be allowed inside Iran if mourners respect hygiene rules.

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