Nearly All of Iran on Coronavirus Red Alert as Cases, Deaths Hit Records

Death toll rises by 235 in a day to total of 27,192 as officials complain many citizens are defying regulations and going on trips

Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
People wearing protective face masks walk on a sidewalk of a commercial street in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 20, 2020.
People wearing protective face masks walk on a sidewalk of a commercial street in Tehran, Iran, Sept. 20, 2020. Credit: AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Reuters

Iran's Health Ministry said on Monday nearly the whole country was on a coronavirus red alert as cases and deaths rose to record levels, with a member of the state task force's warning field hospitals might be needed if people flout the rules.

Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state television that 26 of 's 31 provinces were "red" zones, the highest alert level, while four were at the next "orange" level.

HAARETZ PODCAST: A very close call for Netanyahu and Mossad chief at the White House

0:00
-- : --

Authorities registered a record high 3,902 new cases in the past 24 hours, with the total number of identified cases in the worst-hit country in the Middle East rising to 475,674, Lari said.

She said 235 patients had died in the past 24 hours, equaling a daily death toll high set on July 28, bringing the total death toll to 27,192.

Officials have complained that many have defied regulations to wear face masks and some families used lockdowns to go on trips, helping spread with hospitals nearly full.

"If people keep going on weekend trips..., our patients might have to go to field hospitals," Masoud Mardani, a member of the state coronavirus task force, told Khabaronline website.

On Saturday, schools, libraries, mosques and other public institutions in the capital Tehran closed for a week as part of measures to stem the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases.

Similar closures have been also imposed in Zanjan province, northwest of Tehan, and cities in several other provinces, shutting museums, theatres, gyms, cafes and hair salons, state media said.

Because of coronavirus concerns, Iran has banned flights to Iraq to block trips by Iranians to the neighboring country for the annual pilgrimage of Arbaeen, which draws large crowds. Land borders to Iraq have also been closed.

After stopping flights to Turkey, Iran's Civil Aviation Organization said on Monday one flight per day would be allowed in each direction.

Comments