Iran will reimpose restrictions if health rules not observed

TEHRAN: Iran will reimpose restrictions to stem a surge in coronavirus cases if health regulations are not observed, President Hasan Rouhani said on Saturday (Jun 13).

After gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, Iran has seen a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent weeks.

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While compliance with health protocols was as high as 80 per cent percent a month ago, it is now down to 20 per cent, Rouhani said in a televised speech. He blamed the surge on travellers spreading the coronavirus to previously low-risk provinces.

With 2,410 new cases on Saturday, the total has reached 184,955. With the death of 71 people in the past 24 hours, total fatalities stand at 8,730, the health ministry said.

Rouhani expressed concern about mass prayers at the recently opened Imam Reza shrine, Irans largest Shia Muslim religious complex in the northeast of the country.

"If there is no cooperation, we will have to reimpose the restrictions," Rouhani said, adding that adherence to the health protocols were needed "in order to keep businesses open".

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