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Iran unveils strict Covid restrictions and Tehran lockdown, as officials warn of FIFTH wave

Iran unveils strict Covid restrictions and Tehran lockdown, as officials warn of FIFTH wave
Iran has implemented strict Covid measures on the capital Tehran, closing businesses and government offices in an attempt to control a fifth wave of the virus fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Announcing the measures on Tuesday, Iran’s national virus taskforce declared that banks, businesses and government offices in Tehran and the neighboring Alborz province will close for the next six days.

Nonessential businesses such as shopping centers and cinemas have also been closed, and streets have become largely empty as traffic is limited during the local lockdown.

This is the first time that Iran has taken such a step, reflecting the concern among health authorities who’ve warned the country is facing a fifth wave of infections due to the spread of the Delta variant. So far, the country has resisted a nationwide lockdown, focusing on regional measures instead.

The move comes during the Eid al-Adha holiday, with traffic police reportedly blocking roads to restrict travel to popular vacation destinations around the country. Local media had reported heavy traffic on Monday, prior to the restrictions coming into effect, as people tried to escape the lockdown area.

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Earlier in July, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned citizens that the nation is facing a fifth wave of infections, urging people to avoid large crowds and unnecessary travel while following health protocols to prevent the spread of the virus.

Iran has been the hardest-hit Middle Eastern nation since the start of the pandemic, recording 3.5 million cases and 87,374 deaths from coronavirus, according to data provided to the World Health Organization.

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