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Iran closes southwest county after new wave of coronavirus cases

Iran has seen a new spike in coronavirus cases [Getty-file photo]

Date of publication: 11 May, 2020

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Iran's southwest region is in lockdown after a spike in coronavirus cases.
Iranian authorities ordered the lockdown of parts of the southwest of the country after a spike in coronavirus cases, agencies reported on Monday.

The county of Abadan in the oil-rich Khuzestan region has seen a rise in Covid-19 infections due to people not abiding by social distancing rules, Iran's Tasnim agency reported.

"Because of this the number of corona patients in the province has tripled and the hospitalisation of patients has risen by 60 percent," said Gholamreza Shariati, governor of Khuzestan province.

To tackle this, offices and banks will be closed in the region, while travel restrictions will be imposed - including entry corridors from the north and east of the county, Reuters reported.

Nine other counties in Khuzestan will also see lockdown measures imposed following a similar increase in corona cases.

Iran was a regional epicentre for Covid-19 with authorities criticised for their slow response to the epidemic.

It has slowly started to re-open the country in a bid to boost the economy, already hit hard by sanctions and low oil prices.

"The sanctions, corona, the drop in oil prices and a slump in the global economy have placed perilous conditions in front of the national economy," said Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri, according to Reuters.

"Of course these conditions don’t mean a dead end, but the country’s leaders must use different approaches and capacities to solve the challenges ahead."

Schools will soon re-open while mosques have also held Friday prayers in some parts of Iran, after social distancing measures were imposed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Despite this, Iran saw 51 more deaths from Covid-19 over the past 24-hours.

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