Iran closes Iraq border points to contain UK mutant coronavirus

February 22, 2021 - 17:50

TEHRAN – Iran has closed five crossing points with Iraq to prevent the spread of the UK variant of coronavirus, ISNA reported.

Border points of Kileh, Piranshahr, Chazzabeh, and Shalamcheh were closed to travelers, and on Tuesday Mehran border in the nearby province of Ilam will shut down, according to the spokesman of Iran's Customs Administration Rouhollah Latifi.

However, the border customs offices are open to commerce so that traders and businesspersons from both countries can carry out border trade observing health protocols, he stated.

Seyed Mohammad Alavi, Head of Khuzestan Health Center said that so far, 62 cases of UK mutated virus have been identified in the country, 22 of whom were in Khuzestan province.

Khuzestan is in a dangerous situation with 11 high-risk “red” cities and 8 medium-risk “orange” cities, he lamented.

Iraqi nationals visiting Iran have worsened the coronavirus pandemic in the southwestern Khuzestan province, IRNA quoted the province’s governor-general, Qassem Soleimani-Dashtaki, as saying on Saturday.

More than 300 Iraqi nationals cross Chazzabeh and Shalamcheh borders on a daily basis, he said, adding that the issue has contributed to a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

Eleven cities of the province are in the “high alert” situation.

On February 13, President Hassan Rouhani emphasized the necessity for people to follow health protocols, as a new wave of coronavirus may hit the country within the next two months.

He called on the people to observe the hygiene principles, insisting that anyone who enters the country should undergo the COVID-19 test. “We should all join hands to prevent the fourth wave of the outbreak,” he asserted.

New cases and mortalities

In a press briefing on Monday, Health Ministry’s spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 8,263 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,582,275. She added that 1,351,390 patients have so far recovered, but 3,685 remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 89 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 59,572, she added.

So far, 10,501,415 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country. 

Lari noted that currently, 11 cities are at high-risk “red” zones, 52 cities in medium-risk “orange” zones, 217 cities in low-risk “yellow” zones.


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