'Best vaccine is first vaccine': Iran bans local travel ahead of Eid-al-Fitr

WION Web Team
Tehran, Iran Published: May 09, 2021, 12:05 PM(IST)

coronavirus in Iran Photograph:( AFP )

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Authorities fear people are going to defy the rules imposed against travelling and consider the penalty to be a part of their travel expense

Amid a surge in coronavirus cases and fears of an incoming fourth wave, the government has decided to ban all local travel to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

The decision has been taken keeping in mind that the end of the holy month of Ramadan is drawing closer, which will be marked with the festival of Eid-al-Fitr. The holiday will be celebrated by Iranians on Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday — which is a weekend in Iran.

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Millions of people usually travel within the country on Eid-al-Fitr as it is considered as a long holiday in the country, which gives locals an opportunity and mood to travel and celebrate.

However, at least 283 more Iranians were declared dead, taking the toll to 74,524, and 13,576 new cases were reported, taking the toll to more than 2.64 million in the country. The alarming increase in the cases forced the government to take the decision of banning all local travel.

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Under this rule, travelling to all cities will be banned from 2 pm (local time) on Tuesday till Saturday noon, Alireza Raeisi, spokesman of the national anti-coronavirus headquarters said.

However, authorities fear people are going to defy the rules imposed against travelling and consider the penalty to be a part of their travel expense — as the monetary penalty is not huge.

Meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani has warned locals against an incoming fourth wave and has urged people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“The best vaccine is the first vaccine,” Rouhani said. “We hope we can vaccinate our at-risk citizens, whether those at risk due to age or due to underlying illnesses, by the end of this government to be able to say we have controlled the deaths.”

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