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Since October 3, as case numbers and deaths soared, Tehran closed mosques, schools, shops, restaurants and public institutions. In response to the escalating situation, state TV has announced that the closures will be extended to November 20, with further “extreme measures and limitations” set to be imposed on 43 counties across Iran in which the infection rates are viewed as alarming.
Earlier this month, Ayatollah Khamenei ordered all military hospitals to accept people who have coronavirus, with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) pledging “the entire medical and support capacity of the IRGC.”
As it grapples to get the pandemic under control, Iran has attacked US sanctions for hampering its ability to tackle the virus. In return, America accused Iran of “incompetent and deadly governance” and refused to lift the measures that were reintroduced after 2018, following the Trump administration’s departure from the 2015 Iran deal.
Iran has been hit hardest by the virus out of any country in the Middle East, with over 574,856 cases and 32,953 deaths since the start of the global pandemic. 21 of the country’s 31 provinces are currently on a coronavirus red alert due to the case numbers.
A report by the Islamic Parliament Research Centre (IPRC) back in April cautioned that the actual coronavirus figures could be almost double what has been announced by the health ministry.
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