Iran to Reopen Mosques, Schools in Areas at Low Risk for Coronavirus
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that starting on Monday, authorities will reopen mosques and schools in areas of the country considered relatively free of coronavirus infections. “Mosques will reopen in 132 low-risk or ‘white cities’ and towns from Monday. Friday prayer sermons will resume in those areas as well,” Rouhani said during remarks televised on Sunday. He was referring to a color-coding system that uses white, yellow and red to refer to the way different areas of the country have been affected by the pandemic, with white the lowest and red the highest. “All these steps will be taken by respecting the health protocols,” the president added. Initially, the Islamic Republic was the Middle East’s epicenter for the pandemic, but has since been eclipsed by Turkey, with new cases and deaths headed downward for the past two weeks. On Sunday, Iran’s Health Ministry announced that there had been 47 additional deaths over the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to 6,203, with close to 97,500 infections reported since the first two cases were announced in mid-February.