Iran to ease coronavirus restrictions despite rising death toll

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that some of its restrictions imposed to slow down the spread of coronavirus will be eased in the coming days, according to state news agency IRNA, even as the country’s death toll rose by 151 on Sunday.

Low-risk businesses, such as printing houses, clothes stores and book shops, will resume their activities on April 11 in different provinces other than Tehran, Rouhani said during a meeting of the national response task force, as quoted by IRNA.

Protocols adopted by the Ministry of Health have to be followed in full, he said.

The resumption of low-risk activities in the capital Tehran will be allowed from April 18, Rouhani said.

It comes as the country confirmed another 151 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 3,603.

There has also been a spike of 2,483 coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 58,226, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpoor announced on state television Sunday.

Rouhani said that there are no disagreements between the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade over decisions in the fight against Covid-19.

“Someone at some corner says something to the foreign media and they exaggerate the issue,” he said, adding that putting either health or economic activities over the other would be wrong.

Rouhani advised those who are not forced to go out to stay home, adding that resumption of economic activities does not reduce the necessity of social distancing and staying at home.

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