Iran will reopen mosques in virus-free areas
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has announced his intention to ease restrictions on religious gatherings and to reopen mosques in places found to be consistently free of covid-19.
The Islamic republic, among the hardest hit countries in the Middle East, will be divided into red, yellow and white sectors, to reflect death and infection rates. Areas in the white category will be those where no infections have been detected for a consistent amount of time. Places of worship will be permitted to reopen there. At present there are 116 counties in this category.
These designations would be subject to change and no timescale has been announced for the introduction of the colour-coded scheme.
The daily increase in deaths has not exceeded 100 since mid April resulting in the gradual relaxation of restrictions imposed upon Iranians.
The Iranian government has been reluctant to impose a full-scale lockdown in a bid to save its ailing economy, already suffering from sanctions.
The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called his UAE counterpart to congratulate him upon the start of the holy month of Ramadan and to discuss the battle against coronavirus. The UAE has previously supplied Iran with medical equipment, putting political differences aside to help ameliorate the burden of the Islamic republic.