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Iran to name ‘white’ coronavirus-free counties soon: President Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will soon name those counties, which have been identified as “white zones” with regard to the new coronavirus outbreak, in the near future and will also announce regulations governing expected loosening of anti-virus restrictions.

The chief executive made the remarks at a gathering of committee heads of the country’s National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus in Tehran on Thursday, addressing division of the country’s various administrative areas into white, yellow, and red zones in light of the outbreak.

Rouhani said the “white zones” — namely the areas reflecting the least number of infections and risk of viral spread — are to be named based on reports that have been submitted by the heads of the task force’s various medical, security, and social committees as well as other relevant parameters.

The upcoming moderation in the restrictions that came into force since the virus hit the country in February is to benefit various businesses, trades, and religious centers, Rouhani added.

The president credited formation of the “white zones” to people paying heed to relevant warnings and their serious implementation of health protocols.

In the cities, where the level of the outbreak stands at “yellow bordering on white,” the residents have been heeding the protocols in over 80 percent of the cases, Rouhani noted.

According to the president, medical centers have also been reporting less virus-related visits thanks to popular cooperation, increase in application of diagnostic procedures, identification of suspicious cases through the screening process that has been put in place by the Health Ministry, and sending of the infected into quarantine.

The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, surfaced in central China late last year and can cause a potential fatal respiratory infection.

So far, it has claimed 229,182 lives across the world, including 6,028 in Iran.

‘Smart reopening’

Division of the country into the threefold zones, the president added, “will take us from the smart-distancing stage to the smart reopening one.”

The better the application of health precautions by the locals in any given area, the more favorable conditions that area is going to experience as it moves along the reopening process, Rouhani said.

Iran companies working on vaccine

Rouhani hailed as “glorious” the effort that has been made by various science-based companies as well as scientific and research centers towards production of protective and preventive items such as diagnostic kits, face masks, ventilators, and hand gloves.

“Efforts are also underway towards creation of vaccine and medicine for the disease by [Iranian] science-based companies,” Rouhani said, hoping for the endeavor to last until fruition.

Latest coronavirus toll in Iran

Also on Thursday, Kianoush Jahanpour, head of the public relations and information center at the Health Ministry, was cited by Tasnim News Agency as saying that the fatalities from the virus had exceeded the 6,000 mark, though the numbers of new cases and deaths continued to show a downward trend.

Among those who have been newly infected with the virus, 71 people lost their lives over the previous 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 6,028, the official announced.

The overall number of the infected people, meanwhile, stands at 94,640, Jahanpour said, but voiced delight in the fact that 75,103 people have recovered.

The country has so far carried out 463,295 coronavirus diagnostic test on citizens, the agency reported.

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