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In order to reduce the number of cases and especially the number of deaths, Iran is also tightening its measures in the fight against the spread of the corona virus. For economic reasons, President Ruhani had opposed such a lockdown until now — now he sees no other option. In Iran, a strict lockdown was introduced in the capital Tehran and more than 160 other large and small cities on Saturday to stop the drastic increase in the number of corona cases. This means that only a few sectors are allowed to carry out their work. Schools, universities and bazaars were also closed. Two thirds of civil servants now have to work from home. In addition, no passenger cars except taxis are allowed between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. The restrictions are initially only planned for two weeks. If the number of cases does not drop, however, the lockdown should continue afterwards, according to President Hassan Ruhani. To avoid this, all citizens have to strictly adhere to the Corona regulations, said Ruhani on state television. Meetings with families, relatives, and friends should also be avoided. “The people have to accept the bitter fact that this problem will remain with us for a long time and we will have to live with this unwanted guest for as long as we can,” Ruhani said in another address.
Too few test options
For economic reasons, Ruhani had so far opposed such a lockdown. However, the dramatic increase in the number of cases over the past few weeks left him no other choice. Corona patients die in Iran almost every minute, new infections are registered every second. The total number of corona deaths in the country is currently almost 44,000, and that of the infected is more than 800,000. However, the number of cases is likely to be more than twice as high as stated because there are still too few test options in Iran, with its more than 82 million inhabitants. The Ministry of Health has now increased the number of corona tests from 25,000 to 100,000 a day. However, experts are of the opinion that for a population of more than 82 million people, at least 200,000 tests per day would be necessary to get the true number of cases.