Iran to launch ‘smart distancing’ plan to fight COVID-19

Tehran, April 5 (IANS) Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that authorities will launch a “smart distancing” plan to continue the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, on Saturday announced 55,743 confirmed cases, with a death toll of 3,452, Xinhua news agency reported.

The “social distancing” plan launched last month has attained “good achievements”, Rouhani said on Saturday in a meeting at the National Headquarters to Fight the Coronavirus.
The next phase of the plan is “smart distancing” as specifications of which will be laid out, he added.
On March 27, Iran announced the implementation of an one-week “social distancing” plan, requiring all schools, universities, shopping malls, parks, sports complexes, swimming pools and entertainment facilities to be closed, with the aim of halting public gatherings and avoiding unnecessary movements.
The plan was later extended until April 8.
On Saturday, Rouhani said that “various protocols have to be meticulously designed for different occupations after becoming certain that the management of the coronavirus has reached a stable state”.
“Medical protocols have to be designed in a way that the public can be largely assured of its health and safety by adhering to them outside the house and at work,” he added.
Meanwhile, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said on Saturday that “smart distancing” was based on a number of principles.
“One principle is that since Iran is fighting both the novel coronavirus and the US sanctions, the economic issues should be taken into consideration,” Harirchi was quoted as saying by Press TV.
The gradual reopening of certain occupations should also be under constant evaluation, he said.
On Saturday, the official IRNA news agency reported that testing for COVID-19 symptoms has became mandatory for all the residents of Tehran.