News World Iran's president calls for ban on weddings, wakes to halt virus spread

Iran’s president calls for ban on weddings, wakes to halt virus spread

 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called on Saturday for big gatherings such as weddings and wakes to be banned to stem a rise in coronavirus infections, but insisted the country’s economy had to stay open.

Shortly after Rouhani’s televised speech, a police official in Tehran announced the closure of all wedding and mourning venues in the capital until further notice.

Iran has been gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, but has recently reported a sharp rise in the infection rate.

The death toll on Saturday rose by 188 over the previous 24 hours to 12,635, while the total number of diagnosed cases reached 255,117, up by 2,397 during the same period, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state TV.

“We must ban ceremonies and gatherings all over the country, whether it be wakes, weddings or parties,” Rouhani said.

“Now is not the time for festivals or seminars,” he said, adding that even university entrance exams may have to be suspended.

Rouhani and other officials have blamed the rise in infections partly on wedding parties, wakes and other public gatherings.

An advisor to Iran’s Coronavirus Task Force warned that if appropriate measures were not taken, between 50,000 and 60,000 people could die from the pandemic.

“The second wave, which will occur in the fall, will be much more deadly,” said the advisor, Hossein Qenaati, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

While struggling to curb the spread of COVID-19, Iranian authorities are concerned that tougher measures could wreck an economy already reeling under U.S. sanctions.

“The easiest option is to shut down everything,” Rouhani said. “But then people will pour into the streets because of hunger and unemployment.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Three covid deaths in Cyprus, new cases drop further to 157 but fewer tests

  Cyprus recorded three covid deaths over the past 24 hours, raising the number to 170,  113 men and 57 women, with an average age...

Thousands protest in Amsterdam against Dutch coronavirus lockdown

  Several thousand today people held an unauthorised protest in Amsterdam against a national lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, before being...

Search and rescue crews looking for woman off Larnaca

  The Search and Rescue Coordination Centre in Larnaca received a call around four in the afternoon about a 70 year old woman missing off...

Rapid Test locations on Monday Jan 18

Here are the rapid test locations for Monday January 18 Limassol Apostolos Loukas church, Ayios Athanasios (Ayios Athanasios refugee settlement) 8.30-4.30 Ayios Stylianos church, Linopetra 8.30-4.30 Mesa Yeitonia Cultural Centre...

German FM says COVID curbs should be eased for vaccinated people

  People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should be allowed to go to restaurants and cinemas earlier than others, a German minister said, contradicting...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...