- According to Rouhani, areas, where the number of patients and deaths due to coronavirus are zero in two weeks, are considered "white areas."
- Various reports have been published about the disbelief of some religious groups and delegations on the instructions of the National Headquarters.
- A number of 1,153 new cases of the coronavirus have been identified and the number of infected people has reached 90,481.
With the release of official statistics on the general slowdown in the coronavirus outbreak in Iran, and the lifting of restrictions on some economic and administrative activities, a number of Friday prayer leaders have called for the reopening of shrines and the lifting of the ban on congregational prayers.
These include Ahmad Alam al-Huda, and some other groups in the country. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made promises at the Sunday meeting of the National Headquarters for Management and Combating Coronavirus in response to these requests. He also announced relatively difficult conditions for their realization.
According to Rouhani, areas, where the number of patients and deaths due to coronavirus are zero in two weeks, are considered “white areas”. He said restrictions such as the closure of Friday prayers and shrines could be lifted in the area.
According to the official statistics of the Ministry of Health, the trend of the new coronavirus and death due to COVID-19 disease has been declining in recent days. However, a number of officials warn that the trend does not apply to all provinces. Others are concerned about the new wave of coronavirus spread due to increased traffic and poor health advice, including social distancing.
White, Yellow and Red
According to the state-run IRNA news agency, Rouhani announced a proposed plan in which different parts of Iran would be divided into three zones: white, yellow, and red. The zones were based on the prevalence of the coronavirus and the number of cases and deaths according to the Ministry of Health’s criteria.
President Rouhani says mosques and places of worship can be reopened in areas declared “white” by the Ministry of Health. He also warned that if the paradigmatic rules are not followed in areas that are declared white, the situation may return to yellow and even red, in which case the restrictions will be re-imposed.
Campaigns to Reopen Mosques and Shrines
Fars News Agency, close to the security forces and the Revolutionary Guards, announced on Sunday the “continuous demands” of a number of campaigns and “spontaneous groups” that have called for restrictions on mosques and shrines due to the resumption of markets, shopping malls and parks.
This news agency introduces two examples of these “campaigns” on the special page under the title “My Fars,” and collects signatures for them. In one of them, referring to the decision of the National Anti-Coronation Headquarters to close the mosques by mid-May, it was written that the motive for this action may be “creating a safe margin for the current government and parliament,” and safeguarding them “against the criticism of Muslims and Friday Imams.”
Unauthorized Ceremonies during Ramadan
Meanwhile, various reports have been published in the Iranian media and cyberspace about the disbelief of some religious groups and delegations on the instructions of the National Headquarters and the holding of ceremonies on the occasion of Ramadan in some cities, including Tehran. Hossein Ghasemi, secretary of the National Security Committee of the National Headquarters for Combating Coronavirus, confirmed the holding of the ceremony in Tehran.
“It is very rare that it is being followed up by the relevant authorities,” Ghasemi said. Commenting on the continued restrictions on religious ceremonies and rallies, he said “the previous decisions of the National Headquarters remain in force and have not changed. It is still forbidden to hold any official or unofficial ceremonies, and given the importance of public health, violations of this can be traced.”
In recent days, with the reduction of restrictions, in some cases, the use of public transport in metropolitan areas has greatly increased, and crowds have made it possible to comply with many health recommendations, especially social distancing.
Hassan Rouhani says that on May 27, the National Headquarters for Combating Coronavirus discussed the congestion on the subway and buses, and the non-compliance with the distance. The Ministry of Interior announced that it would be necessary to use a mask for public transport.
Number of Patients Exceeds 90,000
Kianoosh Jahanpour, the spokesman of the Iranian Ministry of Health, announced in his daily press conference that in the 24 hours leading up to noon on Sunday, a number of 1,153 new cases of the coronavirus have been identified and the number of infected people has reached 90,481.
According to Jahanpour, 60 other people have died of COVID-19 disease during this period, and the number of Coronavirus victims in Iran so far has been 5,710. The Ministry of Health has been refusing to release statistics on the number of deaths and illnesses caused by COVID-19 disease in the provinces for some time. Information has instead been leaked by local officials and some officials.
Mohammad Mehdi Goya, head of the Ministry of Health’s Center for Infectious Diseases Management, said on Saturday that “the prevalence of corona in the country is not the same and we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 disease in some hospitable and busy provinces such as East and West Azerbaijan, Tehran and Fars.”