Covid-19 patients in a Tehran hospital in mid-January.

Covid-19 patients in a Tehran hospital in mid-January.

Iran's President Rejects Nationwide Lockdown Despite Soaring Omicron

2/5/2022

Despite the highly contagious Covid-19 Omicron variant spreading fast across Iran, President Ebrahim Raisi has rejected proposals for a nationwide shutdown.

Raisi made the decision during a session of the Covid-19 taskforce on Saturday while 120 cities are now considered "red zones”.

Instead, he proposed that the definition of the red zones should be changed in a way that the number of 'red' cities decreases.

Raisi said the country should not go into lockdown as was the case during the previous waves and restrictions should be regional and local.

Etekaf (from the Arabic for ‘adhering to’) ceremonies, scheduled this year for February 15-18, during which large numbers pray in mosques throughout day and night, were cancelled in the cities deemed red zones.

The government hasn’t announced restrictions on the Fajr film and theater festivals, and its plans remain in force to re-open schools and to hold gatherings during the ten-day Fajr period that ends on the anniversary of the 1979 Revolution on February 11.

This would not the first time the Islamic Republic seems to prioritize official events over the health and safety of people. There were media allegations that authorities played down the threat from Covid in early 2020 so as not to deter voting in the February 2020 parliamentary elections.

Health authorities, who have said the country is in a sixth wave of the pandemic, expect infections to rise to “up to”

24 with Fardad
Science Weekly
IITV News (12) - DC

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