0628 GMT October 31, 2020
Speaking at a Saturday session of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus, President Rouhani stressed the need to intensify health precautionary measures against COVID-19 pandemic.
Pointing to reports of cases of a pneumonia-like disease in a number of neighboring countries that is more dangerous than COVID-19, the president said it is necessary to take intensified precautionary measures as the disease may spread to Iran as autumn is coming.
Rouhani also asked the Iranian people not to become bored with the health restrictions and social distancing protocols and to get used to the new lifestyle in the medium and long term.
The new lifestyle under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic may continue even after a vaccine becomes available, the president noted.
The president has repeatedly hailed his administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the sanctions, saying Iran is struggling against two viruses at the same time.
Rouhani added that the country needs to make more investment in health sector to boost capacity for medical services.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said that the number of new positive cases in the country rose by 2,845, to 419,043, from Friday to Saturday.
She noted that 1,149 of the newly-infected people have been hospitalized.
The ministry’s spokeswoman also put the death toll from the virus at 24,118 following the death of 166 patients from Friday to Saturday.
At least 357,632 patients have recovered from the coronavirus infection so far, or have been discharged from hospitals across Iran, the spokeswoman said.
Among those undergoing treatment in medical centers at present, 3,893 coronavirus patients are in critical condition due to more severe infections, Lari noted.
Iran has been trying to contain the spread of the virus by enforcing social distancing measures and making face masks mandatory in public places since the outbreak of the virus in the country in February.
But, recent holidays in the country, during which many people traveled to other cities, led to the increase of new cases in the country.
Iran’s Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi on Thursday declared a coronavirus red alert covering the entire country as daily deaths and cases increase at an alarming rate.
“The color classification doesn’t make sense anymore. We no longer have orange and yellow, the whole country is red,” Harirchi said.
Iran has been divided up into white, orange/yellow and red regions based on the number of infections and deaths.
Harirchi warned that if this trend continues, the death toll from the coronavirus will reach 45,000 in Iran – the worst-hit country from the virus in West Asia.
IRNA and Tasnim News Agency contributed to this story.