Rouhani Reveals New Measures to Curb COVID-19
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that Iranians who do not wear masks will be denied state services and workplaces that fail to comply with health protocols will be shut for a week, as he launched new measures to try to curb the new coronavirus.
Wearing masks becomes mandatory from Sunday in covered public places, he said on state television after tougher curbs were imposed in cities and towns in five provinces where the outbreak is rising after an easing of lockdowns from mid-April.
"Government employees should not serve people who do not wear masks and employees who do not wear them should be considered absentees and sent home," said Rouhani.
Iran has been battling the spread of COVID-19, with the total number of cases hitting 237,878 on Saturday and a further 148 deaths bringing the country's toll to 11,408, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on state television.
The government has been trying to convince a reluctant public to accept masks and a week-long campaign by state television has been warning viewers that "Corona is not a joke," Reuters reported.
One TV presenter at the end of every newscast puts on her mask and says: "There is no one in my immediate three metres, but I wear a mask outside the studio. You, too, wear one."