Iranians ignore appeals to stay home, face second wave of coronavirus
The escalating outbreak in Iran has killed 2,077 people so far and has infected 27,017.
Amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections in Iran -- the Middle East's worst-hit country -- as Iranians ignored appeals to stay at home and cancel travel plans for the Persian New Year holidays, the country has started an intercity travel ban on Thursday.
This comes as an Iranian government spokesman on Wednesday said the country might face a second outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Officials have complained that many Iranians ignored appeals to stay at home and cancel travel plans for the Persian New Year holidays that began on March 20.
"Those who have travelled for the Iranian New Year holidays should immediately return to their cities without making any stop in the cities on their way back home," said Hossein Zolfaghari, a member of Iran's national headquarters for fighting the coronavirus.
Iran reported 157 new coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 2,234, Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Thursday. The escalating outbreak has so far infected 29,406 people.
The authorities have called on Iranians to avoid public places and stay at home, while schools, universities, cultural and sports centres have been temporarily closed across the country.
"The closure of universities and schools as well as suspension of gatherings has been extended," Zolfaghari said, adding that violators of the measures will face legal consequences.