Iran Urges Social Distancing as the Coronavirus Cases Cross 200,000

The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times claiming the lives of more than 450,000 people worldwide

The total tally of coronavirus or COVID-19 cases confirmed in Iran crossed 200,000 on Friday, as the state media continued to warn about the lack of proper social distancing despite a new rise in the number of infections.

The daily number of deaths crossed 100 most of this week, for the first time in two months. The Health Ministry of the nation announced 120 deaths in the earlier 24 hours taking the total to 9,392 and 2,615 new cases for a total of 200,262.

Iran Grapples With COVID-19

Mobile photo taken on Feb. 14, 2020 shows Gao Yongzhe and Huang Wenli adjusting goggles and masks for each other at "Wuhan Livingroom" in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. Doctor Gao Yongzhe and nurse Huang Wenli are a couple working at the frontline against the novel coronavirus. Although they both spend all day at "Wuhan Livingroom", a temporary hospital, the busy couple barely had time to meet each other. On Feb. 14, under the arrangement of the hospital, the couple met and had a lunch together. As Huang put it, it was their special and meaningful 23rd Valentine's Day even though there was no flower and gift. (Photo by Gao Xiang/Xinhua/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

State television showed several families picnicking without masks or social distancing. Reminded about the fact that one person was dying every 12 to 15 minutes, an unidentified family father said: "My daughter was getting depressed. We really had to get out of the house." The parliamentary research center issued a report in April suggesting that the actual number of coronavirus deaths might be almost twice the official figure.

State television quoted Hossein Erfani, head of the Health Ministry's contagious disease care department, as saying provinces will be allowed to decide locally to impose or suspend restrictions in the fight against the virus. "Depending on whether it is high-, medium- or low-risk, each province and county will decide on imposing necessary restrictions or suspending them," Erfani said. Six of Iran's 31 provinces are currently high-risk coronavirus areas, state said.

(With agency inputs)

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