Iran reopens ‘low-risk’ economic activities

President Hassan Rouhani urged Iranians to adhere to health protocols to guard against the new coronavirus as “low risk” economic activities resumed in most of the country on Saturday, state news agency reported. IRNA.

The so-called low-risk companies will resume across the country from Saturday with the exception of the capital Tehran, where they will restart from April 18. Iran is the Middle East country most affected by Covid-19 highly infectious respiratory disease.

“Relaxing restrictions does not mean ignoring health protocols … social distance and other health protocols must be seriously respected by people,” said Rouhani.

The Islamic Republic is struggling to curb the spread of the infection, but the government also fears that measures to limit public life to contain the virus could destroy an already penalized economy.

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabeie said that “in the long term, some 4 million people may be unemployed,” IRNA reported.

“Four million non-state employees are faced with stopping or cutting activities, cutting wages and being evicted.”

Health officials have repeatedly complained that many Iranians have ignored calls to stay at home, warning of a second wave of the epidemic in Iran where the death toll has reached 4,357 with 70,029 cases infected.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)