FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the cabinet meeting, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Tehran, Iran, April 1, 2020. Official Presidential Website/Handout via REUTERS
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s president said on Sunday “low-risk” economic activities would resume from April 11 in the Middle Eastern country worst-affected by the new coronavirus.
Iran has been struggling to curb the spread of the highly infectious respiratory disease known as COVID-19 but authorities are also concerned that measures to curb public life to contain the virus could wreck an already sanctions-hit economy.
“Under the supervision of the health ministry, all those low-risk economic activities will resume from Saturday except in Tehran,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised meeting.
“Two thirds of all Iranian government employees will work out of the office from Saturday…The decision does not contradict stay at home advice by the health authorities.”
Rouhani did not spell what he meant by low-risk activity.
The health ministry said on Saturday that the Islamic Republic’s death toll had reached 3,452 among a total of 55,743 infected people. The daily toll has been rising by at least 100.
Iranian officials have repeatedly complained that many Iranians ignored appeals to stay at home and cancel travel plans for the New Year holidays that began on March 20.
Health authorities have since warned of a new wave of coronavirus infections in the Islamic Republic.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Mark Heinrich