Iran imposes intercity travel ban amid growing coronavirus outbreak
"Those who have travelled for the Iranian New Year holidays should immediately return to their cities without making any stops in other cities on their way back home," said Hossein Zolfaghari, a member of Iran’s national headquarters for fighting the coronavirus.
Officials complained that many Iranians ignored appeals to stay at home and cancel travel plans for the Persian New Year holidays, according to Reuters. Iran cancelled its Persian New Year celebrations last week.
Iranians eschewed "social distancing" practices as recently as Monday, when a funeral for a deceased senior leader of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards drew massive crowds in Tehran.
Iran has reported 29,406 COVID-19 cases and 2,234 deaths.
Last week, a health ministry spokesman said at least one person is dying every ten minutes in Iran as a result of health complications arising from the coronavirus.
"The closure of universities and schools as well as suspension of gatherings has been extended," Zolfaghari stated, adding that violators of the measures will face legal consequences.
President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will contain the spread of the virus in two weeks, according to Reuters.