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The New Arab Staff

Iran to make masks compulsory following fresh coronavirus spike

Iran has seen a worrying rise in Covid-19 cases [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 June, 2020

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Iran, one of the world's worst-hit countries by the coronavirus epidemic, has announced compulsory mask measures amid a fresh spike in cases.
Iran will make the wearing of face masks indoors compulsory from next month, it was announced on Sunday, after a new wave of coronavirus cases hit the country.

President Hassan Rouhani said that masks would be mandatory from 5 to 22 July, after the country recorded its highest number of Covid-19 related deaths in a single day for three months over the weekend.

Provinces hit hardest by the epidemic will also see curfews imposed in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.

"Starting 5 July, for two weeks, wearing masks in all public gatherings will be compulsory," Rouhani said, according to Anadolu Agency.

Previously, the wearing of face masks and gloves was optional, but new research has shown that the precautions could be effective in stopping the spread of the disease.

Iran saw 144 deaths from coronavirus on Saturday, the highest number of fatalities from the respiratory disease in months.

Iran first recorded cases of the disease - which originated in Wuhan, China – in February and enacted lockdown measures in March. 

The Iranian leadership was criticised for responding too slow to the crisis, with delays in implementing curfews and flights to Wuhan continuing weeks after the disease broke out in the Chinese city.

A worrying new rise of cases in Iran has seen local lockdowns imposed as concerns mount that a second wave could be in the making.

Iran has recorded 222,600 cases of Covid-19 and 10,500 deaths since the start of the epidemic.

There have now been at least 10 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide and the virus has killed 500,000 people.

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