Iran orders travel ban and shutdown amid COVID surge

Iran orders travel ban and shutdown amid COVID surge... 15/08/2021 News

Keywords:#Ali_Khamenei, #Ayatollah, #Ayatollah_Ali_Khamenei, #Ayatollah_Khamenei, #Britain, #Delta, #Dubai, #Health, #Iran, #January, #Khamenei, #Kianoush_Jahanpour, #Middle_East,, #Muslim, #Reuters, #Saturday, #Shi'ite, #Supreme_Leader, #Total, #United_States

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran is to impose a one-week lockdown and a ban on road travel amid a fifth COVID-19 surge in the worst-hit country in the Middle East, state television reported on Saturday.
All non-essential businesses and offices will have to close under the nationwide lockdown from Monday to Aug. 21, in an effort to curb the highly contagious Delta variant.
Authorities are also imposing a driving ban from Sunday until Aug. 27, except for essential vehicles.
"All roads will be closed except for trucks carrying food and essential goods and ambulances. This traffic ban will be very strictly imposed," Alireza Raisi, spokesman for the national coronavirus task force, told the television.
Authorities will only allow open-air gatherings for ongoing Shi'ite Muslim mourning ceremonies, Raisi said.
The Health Ministry reported 29,700 new cases on Saturday, and 466 daily deaths, down from a record daily toll of 588 fatalities on Monday. Total deaths have reached 97,208, according to official figures.
Social media users have accused the government of mismanagement over slow vaccinations with only 3.8 million people fully inoculated in a population of 83 million.
Officials have blamed U.S. sanctions for hampering efforts to buy foreign vaccines and for delays in deliveries.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in January called vaccines from the U.S. or Britain “forbidden.”
Spokesman for Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, Kianoush Jahanpour, said on Thursday that the import of 40 million jabs by the end of summer had been finalized.
“We’re planning to import 40 million shots and local vaccines are also being mass-produced,” he said, pointing out that all vaccine brands can be purchased if they were not manufactured inside the United States or Britain, due to Ayatollah Khamenei’s ban which he imposed when the national vaccination campaign started.
(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
---Iran orders travel ban and shutdown amid COVID surge ---

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