Iran begins new school year amid coronavirus concerns

Iran begins new school year amid coronavirus concerns
Iranian children are returning to school despite covid-19 danger.
2 min read
05 September, 2020
Iranians are concerned about the pandemic [Getty]

Iran on Saturday opened the new school year after nearly seven months of closure.

In a video conference, President Hassan Rouhani said the education of 15 million students is as important as the health system.

"Education will not be closed in our country even under the worst situation," he said, urging authorities to implement health measures in schools to the level of those in military garrisons.

The reopening of schools came as many expressed concern over a possible increase in infections, including medical professionals.

"The national COVID-19 task force should defend lives of millions of students," said Abbas Aghazadeh, a member of the board of the medical council.

"Prevent physical reopening of all schools across the country."

Iran has so far used distance learning via internet apps and TV programs. Authorities say the system will continue for undergraduate university students.

Iran’s death toll from COVID-19 has so far passed 22,000 out of 382,772 confirmed cases. The country has had the first and worst outbreak in the region.

Virus danger

Iran’s health minister said Saturday that at least 164 health care professionals have died while battling the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Saeed Namaki as saying new cases have been reported that will be added to that number.

The latest toll of health care worker deaths from the virus is 26 more than the 138 cases reported on July 22.

Iran at the time said some 12,000 healthcare workers had been infected.

Iran is grappling with the deadliest outbreak of the virus in the Middle East.

Earlier on Saturday, the country put the total death toll from Covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, at 20,502 out of nearly 356,800 confirmed cases.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said 126 patients died since Friday and there were 2,028 new confirmed cases over the same period.

She said 3,850 patients are in critical condition, though 307,702 have recovered so far.

The confirmed death toll from the coronavirus went over 50,000 in the Middle East on Thursday as the pandemic continues. 

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