Iran to restart ‘low-risk’ economic activities soon Apr 06, 2020 0 310 12345 AFPTehranIran said on Sunday it will allow “low-risk” economic activities to resume from April 11 as its daily coronavirus infection rates slowed for a fifth straight day.“Restarting these activities does not mean we have abandoned the principle of staying at home,” President Hassan Rouhani said at a meeting of Iran’s anti-coronavirus task force.The president, whose country has been battered by US economic sanctions, did not specify what qualified as “low risk” activities, but said bans would remain on schools and large gatherings.A “gradual” return of “low-risk” economic activity will be permitted from next Saturday in the provinces and from April 18 in Tehran, Rouhani said.The novel coronavirus pandemic claimed another 151 lives over the past 24 hours in Iran, raising the Islamic republic’s declared death toll to 3,603, health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said Sunday at his daily press briefing.He also reported 2,483 new cases of COVID-19 infection, the fifth straight day of declining numbers, compared to a record number of 3,111 infections on March 31.Iran, the Middle East country worst affected by the pandemic, which originated in China, has reported 58,226 infections, a figure which some foreign experts suspect is an underestimate.After resisting a lockdown or quarantine measures, Iran imposed an intercity travel ban late last month.Saturday should have marked a return to regular activity in Iran after a two-week holiday for the Persian New Year.Jahanpour at his briefing criticised “those who think that the situation is normal now that the holidays are over, because it is not normal”.While some people in Tehran told AFP they were reassured by the government’s response, others remained fearful.“There have been a lot of people out on the streets the last two days. It’s terrifying,” a housewife, Zohreh, told AFP.But Zahra Zanjani, another housewife, said she believed the situation was under control. “People are very respectful” of instructions from authorities, “and are taking great care,” she said.A retiree named Amir worried about the economic impact of the pandemic. “People still have expenses to pay,” he said. “They can’t stay at home. The government needs to support them financially.”In Isfahan, Iran’s third largest city and tourism capital, 35-year-old teacher Samira said large numbers of people were ignoring advice to stay home. “I passed by two parks and saw 25 to 30 people in each,” she said.“Public gardens are supposed to remain closed.” Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Lebanon repatriates nationals in rare flights despite virus Apr 06, 2020 0 318 Jordan to use drones, cameras to monitor curfew Apr 06, 2020 0 1295 Five killed in shelling of women’s prison in embattled Yemeni city Apr 06, 2020 0 130 Turkey exempts young workers from confinement order AFP Istanbul Turkey on Sunday said working youth, including seasonal agricultural labour, will be exempted from a confinement order imposed as part of tougher measures against the coronavirus outbreak. President .. Egypt bans public charity banquets during Ramadan amid pandemic DPA Cairo Egyptian authorities have banned public charity banquets, an age-old feature of the Islamic month of Ramadan, in an effort to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, state media reported on Sunday. .. Libya’s ex-premier Jebril dies of Covid-19 Cairo Libya’s former prime minister Mahmoud Jebril died on Sunday after developing Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, Libyan media reported. His death, in a Cairo hospital at the age of 68, .. Exhumation of 30,000 bodies in Rwandan mass grave begins DPA Kigali Exhumation of about 30,000 bodies from a dam outside Rwanda’s capital of Kigali began on Sunday, more than a quarter century after the genocide in which more than 800,000 people were killed. “So far, 50 bodies .. Nigerian prisoners killed after demanding release over Covid-19 fears DPA Lagos Four inmates on death row in Nigeria were killed during an altercation with prison staff after the government announced plans for early release due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, authorities have .. Israel detains Palestinian governor of Jerusalem again AFP Jerusalem Israel detained the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem on Sunday over “illegal” activities, in at least the seventh time Adnan Ghaith has been arrested in less than 18 months. “Adnan Ghaith was detained .. Ethiopia reports first two deaths from coronavirus AFP Addis Ababa Ethiopia on Sunday announced the first two deaths of patients suffering from COVID-19, as officials ramped up testing to get a clearer picture of the outbreak there. The first victim was a 60-year-old ..