People wearing face mask walk beside Chitgar lake in Tehran, Iran, July 5, 2020. (Xinhua photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)
Iran returns some restrictions amid increasing number of new daily COVID-19 cases.
TEHRAN, July 6 (Xinhua) -- Iran has returned some restrictions to the cities in parts of the country amid the resurgence of COVID-19 infection and fatalities.
The number of new daily cases has increased sharply recently following the gradual lifting of restrictions that began in mid-April.
On Monday, it was announced here that national libraries will be shut down for at least one week in the capital Tehran.
Sports clubs and complexes, ceremony halls and movie theaters in high-risk zones were shut down again for at least one week.
The businesses which do not observe health regulations will also be punished.
President Hassan Rouhani said that people who do not wear masks will be denied state services.
Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi said that the government will crack down on health protocol violators to encourage compliance, Financial Tribune daily reported on Monday.
People wearing face mask walk beside Chitgar lake in Tehran, Iran, July 5, 2020.(Xinhua photo/Ahmad Halabisaz)
"Nearly 282,000 business places were shuttered because they violated protocols," Raeisi was quoted as saying.
Following the surge in infections, the Iranian government has given authority to provinces to reimpose restrictions in high-risk counties and provinces. The localized lockdown aims to prevent another nationwide economic shutdown, according to Financial Tribune.
The Iranian health officials have made it mandatory to wear face masks in indoor public places as an effective way to prevent virus contraction.
Jamshid Golpour, head of the Industry and Trade Ministry's Centre for Guilds and Businesspeople, said that the export of face masks made in Iran is banned given a surge in the novel coronavirus cases and the growing demand for masks inside the country, Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.
On the day, Iran's confirmed novel coronavirus cases rose to 243,051 after an overnight registration of 2,613 new infections, official IRNA news agency reported.
At her daily briefing, Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said out of the new cases in the past 24 hours, 1,468 have been hospitalized.
The pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 11,731 Iranians, up by 160 in the past 24 hours, she said.
Besides, 204,083 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals while 3,201 remain in critical condition.
According to Lari, 1,820,003 lab tests for COVID-19 have been carried out in Iran as of Monday.
She said that 15 provinces are either in high-risk or on alert condition over the disease.
Iran announced its first cases of COVID-19 on Feb. 19.
Iran and China have offered mutual help in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
In mid-February, at the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak in China, Iran lit up the Tehran Azadi (Liberty) Tower to show its solidarity with China, and donated 3 million masks to China.
In return, China has delivered several shipments of medical supplies to Iran. On Feb. 29, a five-member Chinese medical team visited Iran for a month-long mission to help Iran fight the pandemic.