Rouhani made the plea in a meeting of senior officials in charge of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday, expressing optimism about achieving “reliable conditions” in the fight against the viral pandemic provided that the health protocols are observed.
“If the cooperation and support of the people as well as the observance of restrictions and protocols continue with the same procedure that has been done so far, we can hope that we will gradually achieve reliable conditions in dealing with the coronavirus,” the Iranian president said.
The government authorized the so-called low-risk businesses to resume activities across the country from Saturday with the exception of the capital Tehran, where they will restart from April 18.
“The honorable people [of Iran] should know that the implementation of smart social distancing [rules] is only for low-risk businesses, and in no way should it be considered that the virus and its epidemic have completely disappeared,” Rouhani underlined. “All health protocols must be taken seriously.”
Iran has confirmed 70,029 cases of the coronavirus infection since the outbreak was reported in the country in late February.
More than 41,947 people have recovered and 4,357 died of the virus, according to the latest updates provided by the Health Ministry on Saturday.
The figures come as Iran has been under draconian US sanctions — particularly on the import of medical equipment — amid the country's fight against the coronavirus, which continues to take its toll across the world.