President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said coronavirus transmissions have declined in Tehran, now on alert Level Two, but that it can regress to Level Three within a week or two, if health protocols are not observed.
In a meeting of the National Coronavirus Taskforce chaired by Rouhani, he said, “Tehran’s status is orange, but we’re on the brink of red,” President.ir reported.
The top official cautioned against complacency or hopes for a vaccine, saying “it will take some time for the vaccine doses to reach everyone who needs it in the world”.
Iran’s coronavirus death toll crossed the 50,000 mark on Saturday, as authorities eased restrictions and moved 96 cities to orange level amid a drop in cases and hospitalizations.
Confirmed coronavirus cases have declined by 12% in Tehran, according to a member of the taskforce, Masoud Mardani.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki also mentioned the drop on Saturday and said, “We will continue along this path and reach days with two-digit and one digit death counts.
“I ask people not to consider this as a return to normality,” he pleaded.
Some 320 died from the contagion on Saturday, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.
Despite higher estimations, overnight fatalities have remained below 400 for the past eight days.
Lari said, “Despite relative improvements compared to past weeks, the situation remains unstable, sensitive and fragile.”
Restrictions on Movement
Tehran Governor-General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey said they will continue to impose the nightly curfew and travel restrictions in the province for another week.
“Yesterday, discharged patients outnumbered hospitalizations for the first time,” Bandpey added.
The government has banned travel to and from red and orange cities in the past two weeks to stem the spread of the deadly outbreak.
“The restrictions have decreased movements throughout the country by 40%,” Ahmad Shirani, the head of Iranian Traffic Police’s information center, told ISNA.
Starting Saturday, most non-essential businesses reopened in Tehran on the first day of the city’s return to alert Level Two.
“The Health Ministry recorded 12,151 infections on Saturday, the lowest daily count since Nov. 13, taking the national tally to over 1.028 million,” Lari said.
“Nearly 720,000 have recovered from the respiratory illness and 5,817 are in critical condition.”
Iran has carried out 6.34 million PCR tests in the past 10 months.
The number of coronavirus infections across the world have reached 66.3 million.