Iran’s Rouhani calls for ban on weddings, wakes to stop spread of virus
TEHERAN (IRAN) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday called for a ban on weddings and wakes where people gather in large numbers to stem the spread of coronavirus infections. However, he insisted that the economy has to be open.
Following Rouhani’s televised address, a police officer in Teheran announced that weddings and wakes in the capital have been suspended until further notice.
The country, which has been gradually easing curbs since mid-April, recently reported a spike in cases.
On Saturday, the total number of fatalities rose by 188 over the previous 24 hours to reach 12,635. The total number of cases touched 255,117, which is up by 2,397, Health Ministry spokesperson Sima Sadat Lari.
“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.
Rouhani and other top government officials have blamed large public gatherings for the spread of the virus.
According to a warning by Iran’s Coronavirus Task Force advisor, if proper measures were not taken, the country would witness between 50,000 and 60,000 fatalities because of the pandemic.
“The second wave, which will occur in the fall, will be much more deadly,” said Hossein Qenaati, the advisor.
While the country is struggling to curb the spread of the virus, authorities are concerned that tougher curbs could upset the economy which is already reeling from the US sanctions.
“The easiest option is to shut down everything,” Rouhani said. “But then people will pour into the streets because of hunger and unemployment.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field