Iranians must be prepared to live with virus 'for long time': Rouhani

WION Web Team New Delhi Jun 06, 2020, 05.03 PM(IST)

File photo: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Photograph:( AFP )

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Iran has been battling the Middle East's deadliest outbreak of the novel coronavirus since reporting its first cases in February.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani warned that the country must be prepared to live with the novel coronavirus "for a long time", as the restrictions are gradually lifted.

People should not assume that "this disease will be eliminated in 15 days or a month: we must, therefore, follow the instructions for a long time," Rouhani said during the weekly meeting of the coronavirus taskforce broadcast on state TV.

"We must end all gatherings, be it marriage, mourning, or family visits until told otherwise by the health minister," he added.

Iran has been the worst affected country in the Middle East since reporting its first cases in February.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said the country's total number of cases had risen to 169,425 with 2,269 new infections confirmed in the past 24 hours.

He added that 75 people who were infected died in the same period, bringing the overall fatalities to 8,209.

According to Rouhani, there is no "second path" for Iran and economic activity across the country must continue.

He announced a further relaxation of restrictions with travel agencies set to resume local tours as of June 13, and cinemas and concerts reopening with only half of venue capacity from June 21.

(With inputs from AFP)