A time to violate health protocols

September 6, 2020 - 10:13

TEHRAN – While the health organizations warn the people that they must consider social distancing to fight COVID-19, Tractor football fans violated the health protocols on Friday in Tabriz.

Thousands of Tractor fans celebrated their Hazfi Cup title win at the Bonyan Diesel Stadium in Tabriz as their team beat Esteghlal 3-2 in the final match on Thursday in Mashhad.

Star-studded Tractor claimed the title for the first time since 2014 and their six-year wait for winning the accolade once again came to an end.

However, despite social distancing rules and restrictions on public gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Tractor Supporters flocked firstly to Tabriz International Airport to welcome their players and then to the stadium to show their joy at the team’s success.

It was shocking that no dispersal order was issued after groups of fans came out to celebrate in the streets and then in the stadium in Tabriz.

Police and the authorities of the city did not urge Tractor fans to stay at home due to COVID-19, which still is a real risk in Iran, and all over the world.

Even as the number of coronavirus deaths has fallen in the last few weeks, the Iranian officials have warned that the country would experience a third wave of coronavirus in the fall.

All Iran Professional League (IPL) and Hazfi Cup games were held behind closed doors due to coronavirus.

However, it seems that the rules and restrictions regarding the coronavirus pandemic are not applicable outside the stadiums in Iran, and the health protocols and regulations are not observed in public gatherings such as what happened in Tabriz.

The National Coronavirus Combat Headquarters, the responsible organization for developing regulations and guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Iran, did not react in this regard and even did not issue a statement about it.

Unfortunately, as we have seen throughout the lockdown period, so many people did not take coronavirus seriously enough, as the case of the Tractor celebration in Tabriz, a large number of people chose to gather inside the stadium. Surprisingly, the permission was granted for this mass gathering by the city officials.

It is obvious that we must all do what we can to prevent further cases and deaths in our communities. On the other hand, the authorities must act responsibly in enforcing the rules, and people, especially the football fans, should abide by social distancing measures to protect themselves and each other.

FH

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