Coronavirus: Low-risk businesses to reopen in Tehran on April 18, says Rouhani
“Low-risk” businesses will reopen in the capital Tehran from April 18, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, a day after “low-risk” economic activity was allowed to resume elsewhere in the country.
Iran reopened government offices on Saturday after a brief nationwide lockdown to help contain the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Businesses deemed “low-risk” outside the capital were also allowed to reopen on Saturday, although Rouhani did not specify which businesses were included.
“Reopening of low-risk businesses in all provinces except Tehran is a part of the smart social distancing plan which started yesterday, and it will start in the capital next Saturday,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Rouhani as saying.
“Reopening of high-risk businesses is being studied and people will be informed once a decision has been made,” said Rouhani.
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Authorities had ordered most government agencies and all non-essential businesses to remain closed for a week after the Nowruz holiday ended on April 4.
Rouhani advised people living in Tehran and other big cities to use taxis or their private cars due to a shortage in public transportation vehicles, IRNA said.
Iran will not allow mass gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan if the situation remains as it is now, said Rouhani. Ramadan is to begin in late April and last through most of May.
Less deaths than Europe
Rouhani also said that Iran has handled the coronavirus better than some European countries.
“We have had less deaths than some European countries … Some do not like us saying our situation is better than Europe’s [situation],” he said.
Iran has to deal with the coronavirus as well as the “sanctions virus,” added Rouhani, referring to US sanctions against Iran under the “maximum pressure” campaign by the administration of US President Donald Trump.
As of Sunday, 4,474 people in Iran have died from coronavirus, and there are 71,686 confirmed cases.