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Covid-19 Pandemic In Iran

The COVID-19 pandemic in Iran is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On 19 February 2020, Iran reported its first confirmed cases of infections in Qom. The virus may have been brought to the country by a merchant from Qom who had travelled to China. In response to the coronavirus the government cancelled public events and Friday prayers; closed schools, universities, shopping centres, bazaars, and holy shrines; and banned festival celebrations. Economic measures were also announced to help families and businesses, and the pandemic is credited with compelling the government to make an unprecedented request for an emergency loan of five billion US dollars from the International Monetary Fund. The government initially rejected plans to quarantine entire cities and areas, and heavy traffic between cities continued ahead of Nowruz, despite the government's intention to limit travel. The government later announced a ban on travel between cities following an increase in the number of new cases. Government restrictions were gradually eased starting in April. The number of new cases fell to a low on 2 May, but increased again in May as restrictions were eased, with a new peak reported on 4 June. Some outside estimates of the numbers of COVID-19 deaths are much higher than those from government sources, with one estimate by the People's Mujahedin of Iran claiming over 40,000 deaths. The government has also been accused of cover-ups, censorship, and mismanagement. However, the World Health Organization says that it has not seen problems with Iran's reported figures, although WHO regional emergency director Rick Brennan later said that due to limited testing in the early months, the number of cases reported in Iran could represent only about 20% of the real number until more tests were conducted.

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