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Call for Lockdown in Iranian Cities Gains Momentum

November 9, 2020
Pouyan Khoshhal
4 min read
A ban on traffic in Tehran after 9pm might soon be imposed in Tehran
A ban on traffic in Tehran after 9pm might soon be imposed in Tehran
With 10,463 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 485 fatalities in the last 24 hours, Iran hit yet another record
With 10,463 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 485 fatalities in the last 24 hours, Iran hit yet another record

With 10,463 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 485 fatalities in the 24-hour period spanning November 8 and November 9, Iran hit yet another record. As the surge of coronavirus continued seemingly relentlessly, a range of officials, especially in Tehran, have accused the government of lacking the will to take necessary actions to stem the tide of the pandemic. Some say the previous measures enacted by the National Coronavirus Taskforce have proved to be “ineffective” and others insist that if the current trend continues, Tehran could face the “horrible prospect of a thousand fatalities per day.” Despite this, a serious lockdown has still not been put on the agenda, and a member of the parliament called the partial curfew due to take effect on November 10 “a joke.”

 

The Emergency Bill to Lock Down Tehran and Other Big Cities

Hossein Ali Shahriari, chairman of the parliament’s Health Committee, has called for at least a two-week lockdown of Tehran and other big cities. If this did not happen, he said, the committee would call for an emergency bill to “require the government” to implement such a lockdown.

Shahriari also called the lockdown of non-essential businesses from 6pm “a joke” and said “such restrictions will change nothing in big cities, especially not in Tehran.” He added: “With this approach we cannot hope to see the fatalities decline. We hope the government’s National Coronavirus Taskforce will step up gear a little bit.”

Shahriari emphasized that the taskforce is a “government” entity, not a “national” one because it does whatever the government wants it to do. The taskforce is not representative of the Iranian people.

Nader Tavakoli, deputy director of the Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce, agreed that a two-week lockdown of Tehran would be effective in containing the spread of coronavirus and said that such a proposal had been forwarded by Tehran’s taskforce to the national one and it was due to be discussed “early next week,” adding: “We are very hopeful that a two-week lockdown of Tehran will be implemented [by late November] because it will be very helpful,” he said.

If approved by the National Coronavirus Taskforce, traffic in Tehran would be banned after 9pm, reported Anooshirvan Mohseni Bandpey, governor of Tehran province. “This proposal has been reviewed by the National Coronavirus Taskforce and it is up to the commander of the taskforce’s Base of Operation, i.e., the minister of interior, when it is to start.”

On November 8, Dr. Minoo Moharez, a member of the National Coronavirus Taskforce, said that President Rouhani had agreed to a lockdown of Tehran, but that the provincial governor is against it. The media was quick to publish this claim and it was shared widely on social media, but on November 9, Alireza Raeesi, spokesman for the National Coronavirus Taskforce, denied the news. “A colleague of ours has said that the president has agreed with a two-week lockdown but the governor [of Tehran province] is against it,” he said. “This is not true. Proposals are reviewed and decided at the national taskforce meetings, which are chaired by the president. If the national taskforce issues an order it must be carried out. So it is not true that the president is supportive of a two-week lockdown of Tehran and the governor is against it.”

According to a decision approved by the National Coronavirus Taskforce, all non-essential businesses must close at 6pm starting on Tuesday, November 10. The curfew will last for a month and does not include food shops and pharmacies.

 

Provinces Round-up

With 57 deaths, the daily number of Covid-19 fatalities in Fars province hit a record over the last 24 hours, reported Dr. Abdolrasoul Hemmati, vice president of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. It was the worst day for the province since the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran. The number of hospitalizations across the province has now passed 1,700, out of whom 250 people are in a critical condition.

In Alborz province, in the last 24 hours, 14 more coronavirus patients died, bringing the total death toll in the province to 1,902, reported Dr. Mohammad Fathi, president of Alborz University of Medical Sciences. In the same 24 hours, he said, 105 new patients with Covid-19 symptoms were hospitalized in the province. Currently, 893 people with a confirmed diagnosis of coronavirus or suspected of having coronavirus are hospitalized in Alborz.

 

Iran’s Latest Coronavirus Statistics

In her daily briefing for November 9, the health ministry spokeswoman Dr. Sima Sadat Lari announced the official coronavirus statistics for the last 24 hours:

Call for Lockdown in Iranian Cities Gains Momentum

 

Dr. Lari also reported that all 31 Iranian provinces are in red, orange or yellow states of alert.

Call for Lockdown in Iranian Cities Gains Momentum

 

This is part of IranWire's coronavirus chronology. Read the full chronology

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