• Islamic Republic of Iran is the worst COVID-19 affected country in the Middle East and North African region; More than 76,000 cases have been detected; 4,777 people have died;
• Continuing floods and rising water levels have caused extensive damage to basic infrastructures and peoples’ livelihood; Seven persons were killed and 2,534 people were rescued in the past week.
Between 8 and 15 April, 13,800 new COVID-19 cases including 905 deaths were confirmed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This brings the cumulative to 76,389 cases detected with 4,777 deaths. In total, 48,129 patients have recovered. The officially confirmed cases and deaths have decreased in the past week. According to a study made by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran (MoHME), the decline is largely due to the implementation of government’s strategies: 1) smart social distancing, 2) identification and isolation of cases, and 3) identification and tracking of those in close contact with infected people.
As it was announced by the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus of Iran on 5 April, businesses that are categorized ‘low risk business’ have resumed work from 11 April in all provinces except Tehran as a part of the smart distancing plan. The low risk business in Tehran will resume from 18 April.
The Iranian Government is greatly concerned about the economic impact of the restrictions to curb COVID-19 outbreak. Reportedly, 3.3 million official employees have been affected through dismissal, suspension or reduction of wages. Additional 4 million self-employed are feeling the actual impact. The Government has introduced several measures to boost domestic economic activities. On 12 April, President Hassan Rouhani announced the permission on traveling within the borders of each province. The president also assured that roads connecting provinces will be opened to traveling from 20 April. On the other hand, the MoHME has been warning that the death toll due to the COVID-19 could reach 30,000 by the beginning of May if the physical distancing regulations are relaxed.
Iran has been experiencing the shortage of essential medical supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).
As an effort to expand its domestic production capacities, the Government decided to turn a historic shrine into a workshop, in which local women produce protective masks. A number of medical personnel who are responding to the COVID-19 have reportedly been infected by the virus and lost their lives. In Golestan province alone, a total 350 medical staff have been diagnosed with acute respiratory disease which is suspected of coronavirus.
Humanitarian response and coordination:
To assist Iran in its effort to combat with the COVID-19, the Republic of Korea has announced a plan to ship an additional medical package worth US$2 million to Iran. The Republic of Korea had delivered a package worth $200,000 earlier. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also donated about $500,000 to Iran. The ICRC also offered its support in facilitating the import of medicine into the country, and in interacting with firms in Swiss to provide Iran with required medicine.
Vulnerable population, particularly those who are marginalized and stigmatized, are in need of special support.
People who use drugs are at an additional risk of the COVID-19 infection due to the behaviours associated with drug use and the settings where drug use takes place. In the drug use hotspots, NGOs and volunteer groups have regularly provided preventative awareness sessions and distributed essential items such as soap and disinfectants to homeless populations. The Islamic Republic of Iran Drug Control Headquarters, in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, will assist the efforts of the civil societies by preparing awareness raising materials comprising of brochures and pod casts
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.