Iran hotels remain open as fourth coronavirus wave gains momentum

April 10, 2021 - 19:0

TEHRAN – Iranian hotels and other accommodation units remain open as the fourth coronavirus wave gains momentum across the country.

To curb the outbreak, President Hassan Rouhani on April 8 announced plans to close down all non-essential businesses, including bazaars and malls in cities color-coded 'red' or very high-risk for a ten-day period as of Saturday.

“Hotels and other accommodation unite will be remaining open during the fourth coronavirus wave,” according to the Iranian Hoteliers Association, ISNA reported.

The total number of coronavirus cases surged past the two million on Thursday as the new wave of infections has overwhelmed hospitals in all major cities.

“We are expecting even more hospitalizations caused by the viral disease over the next few days,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Friday. ICU beds are filled in many cities and the government is to set up makeshift hospitals to make room for more patients and advising patients to visit hospitals only if it is necessary.

The number of coronavirus cases rose after millions traveled across the country during the Noruz holiday, which officially began on March 20. The Islamic Republic reported its highest number of daily coronavirus infections in more than three months period after millions challenged government guidelines and traveled during the two-week holiday.

Before Noruz, health officials voiced concerns about the fourth COVID wave due to the traditional travels, mostly to visit family and loved ones. Authorities had urged people to limit travel and in-person visits, saying that travels during the Noruz festival could lead to another wave of infections across the country. President Hassan Rouhani declared new travel bans for cities situated in the “red” and “orange” zones to combat the new COVID-19 variant. Rouhani called on people to avoid traveling during the Iranian New Year holidays to help contain the spread of coronavirus. He said it would be forbidden to make trips to cities marked as “red” and “orange” in terms of the prevalence of COVID-19.

“We request people to avoid traveling during Noruz holidays for the sake of their own health… It will be forbidden to travel to red and orange towns and cities,” he said. “No one should make any plans to travel to these cities,” he stressed.

The Ministry of Health has classified districts based on the rate of coronavirus infections with red color indicating high risk, orange meaning medium, while yellow implied low risk and blue being the least.