Iran to group regions into white, yellow, red categories in coronavirus battle

Tasnim – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that all areas of the country would be categorized according to the coronavirus morbidity rate and the extent of outbreak in order to define various restrictions and better deal with the COVID-19 threat.

In remarks at a meeting of the Coronavirus Fight National Headquarters, Rouhani said a plan has been ratified to categorize various regions of the country as “white, yellow and red zones” according to the threat posed by COVID-19.

The president said each region will fall into one of those three categories on the basis of the coronavirus morbidity rate, the extent of outbreak, and the regulations introduced by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

Various restrictions and regulations relating to the coronavirus outbreak will apply to each of the three zones, the president added.

More than 100 cities would fall into the white zone category, he noted, adding that as along as a region remains in the white zone, religious sites could reopen in that area and congregational and Friday prayers could also be held there.

Rouhani explained that an area will be declared a white zone when there is no report of new coronavirus cases and deaths for two weeks.

The Health Ministry will be drawing a map to define the white, yellow and red zones according to its criteria, he added.

The president underscored that the smart social distancing scheme must be strictly observed without any interruption, and that reopening of businesses should not be interpreted as an end to COVID-19 and resumption of normal life.

The best way to defeat the coronavirus epidemic is to observe the social distancing regulations, health protocols, and personal hygiene, he said.

Rouhani further pointed to a new decision on the mandatory use of face masks and gloves in the subway, saying the Interior Ministry will announce the start of the compulsory plan.

He also highlighted Iran’s success in meeting the domestic demand for the medical supplies in the battle with the coronavirus, saying hospitals across the country have received 1,100 more beds, 425 ICU (intensive care unit) beds, and 900 respiratory devices.