Iran imposes new curbs as toll rises
July 05 2020 02:12 AM
A handout picture made available by the Iranian presidency yesterday shows President Hassan Rouhani
A handout picture made available by the Iranian presidency yesterday shows President Hassan Rouhani (centre), wearing a face mask at a cabinet session in Tehran yesterday.

AFP/DPA/QNA Tehran/Amman/Kuwait City

People not wearing masks against the novel coronavirus should be refused service in enclosed public spaces, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday, as his government moves to make it obligatory.
The new measure went into effect at midnight as part of the authorities’ efforts to bring down a daily death toll that has remained stubbornly in triple figures.
But face masks are already mandatory on public transport in Iran and the Tehran city council acknowledges that the rule is still widely flouted on the bus and metro services it runs.
Addressing the committee in charge of Iran’s efforts to stem its virus outbreak — the deadliest in the Middle East — Rouhani said that the new order “requires some guarantee that it will be respected”.
“In government offices, that is likely to be easier — we can simply deny entry to people not wearing masks.”
Iran’s overall toll now stands at 11,408, with 237,878 confirmed infections since it reported its first cases in late February.
Those infected have a “religious duty” to notify others, Rouhani said, adding: “Keeping your infection a secret violates the rights of other people”. 
A week-long campaign by state television has been warning viewers that “Corona is not a joke”. 
One TV presenter at the end of every newscast puts on her mask and says: “There is no one in my immediate 3m, but I wear a mask outside the studio. You, too, wear one.”
Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said 148 deaths had been recorded over the past 24 hours, only slightly down on the 154 she reported on Friday.
The Kuwaiti Ministry of Health yesterday announced the registration of 631 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total infections to 49,303. while five deaths were reported raising the number fatalities to 360.
Official spokesperson of the ministry Dr Abdullah al-Sanad said that some of these new cases had contacted infected persons and the source of the other infections was being traced, while the ministry is investigating the source of infection for others.
The new cases comprised of 386 Kuwaiti nationals while the others are for expatriates, Dr al-Sanad revealed, according to Kuwaiti news agency (KUNA), adding that the Health Ministry had conducted 3,443 tests in the past 24 hours, raising the whole count to 402,941.
The Omani Health Ministry has recorded 1,177 new coronavirus cases overnight, bringing the tally to 45,106 cases. The new cases included 969 Omanis and 208 other nationalities, the ministry said in a statement yesterday carried by Oman’s official news agency. The death toll reached 203, while 26,968 cases have recovered.
The ministry conducted 2,992 testings during the past 24 hours, while the number of cases in intensive care reached 116 cases.
Tunisia’s revenues from the vital tourism industry dropped by 47% in the first half of this year amid an outbreak of the new coronavirus, figures from the country’s central bank showed yesterday.
Tourism earnings in the first half of the year stood at $382mn, 47% down compared to the same period of 2019, according to the figures.
The North African country’s tourism sector has felt the brunt of lockdown measures imposed more than three months ago in Tunisia to contain the spread of the virus.
Tunisia reopened its air, land and sea borders on June 27, hoping to revive the tourism industry. 
No foreign tourists have since arrived in the country.

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