On Friday, November 27, Iranian officials announced via state media that all government offices will effectively close and only operate with essential staff in a further tightening of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions as cases continue to rise. The measures will come into effect on Saturday, November 28 and it has not been specified how long the closures will last. Iranian citizens have been asked to delay any planned visits to government offices. A daily record of 14,051 COVID-19 cases was recorded on Friday and more than 400 deaths have been reported each day since November 21.
This is the latest in a series of moves to tighten restrictions in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. On November 21, non-essential businesses and services were closed in Tehran and 160 other towns and cities across Iran for at least two weeks. These areas have been classed as 'red zones' and vehicles are not permitted to enter or leave these areas and people are encouraged to stay home except for essential purposes. A nighttime curfew from 18:00 was introduced in Tehran and 30 provincial capitals on November 11, with only essential businesses permitted to operate during curfew hours. Other restrictions vary across Iran; however, the wearing of face masks in enclosed public spaces is mandatory nationwide.
As of November 28, there have been 922,397 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iran with 47,095 associated fatalities. The further international spread of the virus is to be expected in 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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 COVID-19 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.