As of Monday, April 13, Iranian officials have confirmed a total of 73,303 cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with 3877 patients in critical condition. A total of 4585 deaths have also been recorded, an increase of 111 overnight on Sunday, April 12. Iran remains the most affected country in the Middle East.
Some COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed on Saturday, April 11, with government offices reopening nationwide, except in Tehran. The partial resumption of "low-risk" economic activity nationwide except in Tehran province began on April 11 as well. "High risk" sectors, identified as restaurants, saunas, shopping malls, sports centers, swimming pools, and crowded centers, will remain closed until further notice. In addition, schools and large gatherings remain suspended. Such economic activity in Tehran province will resume as of Saturday, April 18. An intercity travel ban was lifted on April 12, and the inter-province travel ban will be lifted on Monday, April 20.
Despite the easing in restrictions, President Hassan Rouhani urged Iranians to continue respecting the health protocols in place to guard against the virus. In Tehran, government offices and businesses will be allowed to reopen on April 18, provided they follow guidelines on social distancing and register with authorities.
Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.