Coronavirus: How Iran is battling a new wave of coronavirus

Coronavirus: How Iran is battling a new wave of coronavirus
Coronavirus: How Iran is battling a new wave of coronavirus



Iran has seen a rapid surge in the numbers of coronavirus cases since mid-May, with daily recorded deaths reaching new highs.


Iran started to relax its restrictions in mid-April after the number of infections declined, but some of these have now been re-imposed in the capital, Tehran. So what do we know about this new surge in Iran?


How fast are deaths rising in Iran? Iran’s daily reported death toll has been rising sharply in recent weeks. In mid-June, deaths went above 100 – for the first time in two months.


This figure has been going up, reaching 229 dead on 21 July. New reported infections averaged more than 3,000 a day in the first week of June – a 50% increase on the previous seven days.


This figure reached a high of 3,574 on 4 June, before dropping slightly. There have been more than 2,000 cases a day since then. The previous highest figure was 3,186 on 30 March – during the initial outbreak, when Iran became one of the worst affected countries outside China.


And recently, President Rouhani said that government research estimated that as many 25 million Iranians may have been infected by the virus – that’s much higher than the official total tally of cases.


Why are Iran’s numbers rising?


In April, Iran began to ease its restrictions as daily infections fell:


  • 20 April: Shopping malls and bazaars reopened and travel resumed between different provinces
  • 22 April: Public parks and recreation areas reopened
  • 12 May: Government allowed all mosques to reopen
  • 25 May: Major Shia religious shrines reopened
  • 26 May: Restaurants, cafes, museums and historical sites reopened


City transport systems across Iran, as well as banks and offices, have been packed with people.


The epidemic was initially concentrated in Qom and the capital, Tehran. But now, a flare-up has been reported in the south-west, notably in Khuzestan province, an oil-rich region that borders Iraq.


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