Iran on Saturday began new nationwide restrictions on businesses to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The measures, which will be in place for at least two weeks, affect 53 million people in nearly 160 cities.
Stores at Tehran’s usually bustling Grand Bazaar, the country’s main business and trade hub, were closed except for essential businesses including grocery stores and banks.
Initially dismissed by government officials before the outbreak in February, the coronavirus pandemic has only grown worse in Iran over the year, threatening everyone from the day laborer on the street to the upper reaches of the Islamic Republic.
With nearly 840,000 confirmed cases and a death toll of more than 44,000, Iran is the worst hit country in the Middle East.
On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani had urged people to follow the measures in a televised speech.
Crushed by US sanctions, Iran has avoided the full lockdowns seen in other countries as it struggles to keep its anemic economy alive.
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