Iran could make wearing face masks compulsory in areas with a high risk of coronavirus infection, President Hassan Rouhani says.
President Rouhani made the announcement while saying that inexpensive masks should be readily available to people in abundance.
He further said schools and universities will open on September 5, 2020, but all healthcare protocols must be fully observed as the new academic year begins.
The president said the government does not intend to shut down businesses due to the coronavirus outbreak, nor is it necessary to do so.
However, said Rouhani, overcrowding in public places should be prevented and nonessential travel should be avoided.
He urged people to keep observing social distancing protocols and avoid getting together in large numbers.
“We should prepare ourselves for a long-term fight against the coronavirus,” he said.
“As President, I kindly ask people to remain patient for the sake of Iran and in order to preserve the achievements [that we have secured while fighting the coronavirus epidemic],” he added.
“We have been successful, so far, in the fight against the coronavirus,” he said.
“In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and cut its chain [of infection], a heavy responsibility lies on everyone’s shoulders, and the experience we have gained over the past
Elsewhere in his remarks, President Rouhani touched upon the condition of Iranian prisons amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“The health ministry has drawn up and communicated directives on running prisons [amid the COVID-19 pandemic],” he noted.
He said good measures have been adopted, so far, to stem the spread of the virus in prisons, including sending inmates home on leave.
Rouhani said it is possible to grant further leaves or extend the current furloughs in order to contain the virus in prisons.