TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran is limiting travel between its major cities as it tries to halt the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed at least 107 people there.
The country has already shut schools until April, and Health Minister Saeed Namaki said people should not use the break as an opportunity to travel.
He also urged Iranians to reduce the use of paper banknotes.
The measures come as the World Health Organization warned some countries were not doing enough to stop the virus.
But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted containment was still possible, adding: “This is not a time to give up.”
Iran is one of the most infected countries outside China, where the Covid-19 virus – which causes the coronavirus disease – originated.
Worldwide, authorities have confirmed more than 92,000 cases of the virus, of which more than 80,000 are in China.
More than 3,000 people have died globally, the vast majority of them in China.
Mr. Namaki said checkpoints would go up to limit travel between major cities.
In a televised press conference, he said travel was “very dangerous” and reports showed “many cars on the roads are taking the virus with them” to uninfected areas.
He added that schools and universities would remain closed until Nowruz, the Persian new year, on 20 March, which marks the beginning of a national holiday.
“People should not consider this as an opportunity to go traveling. They should stay home and take our warnings seriously,” he said.
“This virus is highly contagious. It is a serious matter, do not joke about it.”
- source : bbc, iran news