A firefighter disinfects the Tabiat Bridge pedestrian overpass in Tehran, with snow-capped Alborz mountains being seen in the background.
Officials in Tehran have ordered all commercial centers closed except for major chain stores supplying foodstuff and other basic requirements as well as pharmacies as part of new restrictive measures to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
Deputy Governor of Tehran Province Hamidreza Goudarzi said on Sunday new social distancing directives about what activities were and were not allowed in the capital had been issued for the megapolis of some 12 million.
Only hypermarkets and drug stores are allowed to stay open and other businesses breaching the order will be penalized, he added.
The new restrictions come as Iran is stepping up its campaign to curtial a further spread of the disease.
Head of Iranís Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz said pharmacies across the country are replenished with protective masks, hand sanitizers and other hygiene products and there is no shortage in this regard.
Alcohol production by Iranian companies has doubled in recent weeks. "We are currently producing 400,000 liters of alcohol on a daily basis," Shanehsaz said.
Death toll rises to 1,685 in Iran
Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Sunday that 1,028 new coronavirus cases had been diagnosed within the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infected individuals to 21,638.
"With 129 new deaths in the past 24 hours, the death toll from the virus has reached 1,685," he said.
Jahanpour further put the number of patients who have recovered from the viral disease at 7,913.
Meanwhile Iranís Health Minister Saeed Namaki said as of Sunday morning 32.7 million Iranians had been screened for the new coronavirus.
The minister said up to 60 percent of the population had confined themselves to their homes and urged the rest of the people to abide by the stay-home directives to help prevent a second wave of infections as a result of cross-country trips during the two-week Nowruz holidays.
MSF rushes medical aid, supplies to Iran
Medecins Sans Frontieres or Doctors Without Borders on Sunday sent a consignment of medical aid to Iran, Iranian Ambassador to Paris Bahram Qassemi said.
The cargo includes a field hospital, medicines, face masks, and protective clothing, he added.
The envoy said the consignment arrived in Tehran on board a charter flight from the French port city of Bordeaux on Sunday morning.
Social distancing to continue for two weeks: Rouhani
On Saturday, Iranís President Hassan Rouhani said social distancing will continue for two or three weeks as the coronavirus outbreak in the country is expected to slow down by then.
The president urged people to stay indoors and restrict their social interactions as much as they can to help slow the spread of the contagious virus.
SOURCE: PRESS TV