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Health Officials In Iran Warn Of A Second Coronavirus Outbreak

People going about their business in Tehran after the government lifted some of the restrictions put in place to stop the coronavirus epidemic. April 21, 2020

Medical officials in several Iranian provinces have expressed concern about the second wave of coronavirus outbreak following the lifting of some restrictions.

The president of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Abbas Mousavi, says, "lifting intercity traffic restrictions" and increased number of travelers has deepened "concerns about the second wave of the deadly virus outbreak.

Speaking to the state-run Mehr News Agency (MNA) on Tuesday, April 21, Mousavi announced an increase in traffic on the province's roads.

At the same time, the Islamic Republic official news agency (IRNA) cited Babol University of Medical Sciences in the same province as saying that the number of people hospitalized for contracting coronavirus was "once again soaring."

Officials in some other provinces, including east Azarbaijan, Isfahan, and Qom, have also echoed similar concerns.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Health and Medical Education, Iraj Harirchi, has warned that even in countries that appear to be clean and free from coronavirus, the outbreak might peak again for a second and even a third time.

"The novel coronavirus case has not yet been shelved," Harirchi cautioned.

Furthermore, he called on people to respect "social distancing" regulations and get used to living with the deadly virus until a vaccine is produced for it.

Earlier, heads of medical universities in several Iranian provinces had warned of a second wave of coronavirus outbreak, describing it as "difficult to control".

Officials in the Islamic Republic still refuse to disclose separate data pinpointing the number of people fallen victim to the coronavirus and its related disease, COVID-19, in each province.

In the meantime, they have been reluctant so far to present any relevant data for the provinces of Qom and Tehran., both epicenters of the outbreak.

While the government puts the total number of cases at 85,000 and deaths around 5,300, parliament’s research center estimates the number of infections is up to ten times higher.

In the meantime, despite opposition from the members of Majles (Islamic parliament) and other groups, President Hassan Rouhani's government has reduced the Novel coronavirus-related restrictions since March 22.