The global death toll from coronavirus is more than 203,000 with almost 3 million confirmed infections, causing mass disruption as the government continues to slow the spread of new respiratory diseases.
Here is a summary of the development of COVID-19 in the RFE / RL broadcasting area.
Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on April 26 that health officials launched a color-based system to classify COVID-19 risks across the country in a step that could pave the way for opening religious sites and mass prayers in less affected parts. from Iran.
Rohani said on April 26 that the Ministry of Health would designate areas as “red,” “yellow,” or “white,” and mosques and shrines could be reopened in areas that remained “white” for a period of two weeks, he said.
Rohani’s announcement came shortly before a Ministry of Health spokesman said the total cases had reached 90,481 in Iran. The spokesman also said 60 new deaths put the official death toll at 5,710.
“This is the first step in opening religious sites that are very attractive to people, and God willing, we hope that the white areas will develop day by day and we will have better conditions while people observe” measures aimed at curbing the spread of the corona virus, he said at a meeting of Iran’s national headquarters to fight a pandemic, according to Iran’s state Press TV.
Activities in each region will be limited by rank, the president said, marking the latest step in reopening Iran’s business and social affairs which began about two weeks ago.
The president said about 127 of the 324 Iranian countries currently were in the least affected category.
Many health and religious experts have encouraged the world’s Muslims during the current holy month of Ramadan to avoid meeting to maintain physical distance which they say is essential to slowing the global pandemic.
Iran has been the hardest hit country in the Middle East by coronavirus.
But the official rate of new cases has dropped since March 30, with around 1,134 new cases reported on April 25.
Iranian officials are slow to confirm the outbreak there despite indications that COVID-19 increased in mid-February, and some experts believe Iran’s COVID-19 number is much higher than has been recognized.
The official rate of new cases has fallen since March 30, with around 1,134 new cases reported on April 25.
Authorities in the country led by the clergy have ushered in a gradual reopening since April 11 from several businesses, along with easing restrictions on domestic travel.
Schools, universities, mosques and shrines, cinemas and sports venues are all currently closed.
Ministry of Health spokesman Kianush Jahanpur on April 26 urged Iranians to respect health and measures to maintain physical distance, even though the COVID-19 death rate has slowed.
Rohani was reportedly warned on April 26 that Iran could expect major disruptions to continue throughout the year as a result of the pandemic.
Alireza Zali, the anti-COVID-19 coordinator for the capital, said on April 25 that “hasty opening” could “create a new wave of disease in Tehran and complicate efforts to control the epidemic.”
Iran has recovered economically before the pandemic from American sanctions was reinstated and tightened after US President Donald Trump in 2018 abandoned a major international agreement that exchanged aid from international sanctions for restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program.
An Iranian government source was quoted by the local daily on April 26 as saying the country had increased its import ransom by around 3 million tons.
Authorities in Pakistan have extended the suspension of international flights for a further two weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The suspension of international flight operations will end in early May but has now been “extended to May 15,” said government aviation division spokesman Abdul Sattar Khokhar.
The move came as health officials warned that tens of thousands of people in Pakistan ignored suggestions to stay at home during the holy month of Ramadan, raising fears that a coronavirus pandemic would spread even further.
Pakistan has been divided over whether to reduce the limitation of coronavirus during Ramadan, which starts in the country on the night of April 24.
The federal government in Islamabad has succumbed to pressure from Islamic clerics to let them lead prayers.
But the southern province of Sindh has announced that no religious meeting can be held there amid grim warnings by medical workers.
Thousands of people ignored suggestions to stay home for the weekend, flocking to mosques and markets on April 25. Many people look without a mask and ignore social guidelines that distance them.
President Arif Alvi has asked prayer leaders not to allow people over the age of 50 to go to the mosque, as agreed by the government and clerics in a 20-point plan to hold congregational prayers during the month of Ramadan.
Doctors warn that the decision to allow the meeting could release a wave of uncontrolled outbreaks of coronavirus.
The Pakistan Medical Association said the country was still at least six weeks away from the peak of the spread of the corona virus.
Meanwhile, frontline health workers in Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab, protested sitting against the poor quality of their personal protective equipment as they tried to treat people affected by deadly coronaviruses.
Salman Haseeb Chaudhry, president of the Punjab branch of the Young Doctors Association, said on April 26 that substandard equipment led to an increase in the number of health professionals contracting COVID-19.
Chaudhry said an alliance of health workers had been formed, including nurses and paramedics, to demand greater protection.
Chaudhry said 100 health professionals in Pakistan had tested positive for the corona virus 24 hours earlier.
Pakistan on April 26 confirmed a total of 12,723 cases of the virus with 269 deaths. The actual number of infections is considered to be much higher.
Pakistan has recorded a steady daily increase of around 750 positive cases over the past week. Tests are still low with nearly 6,800 people being tested per day in a country of 220 million people.
Pakistan has struggled to get protective equipment for its health professionals. Doctors in the southwestern province of Baluchistan who protested the lack of adequate protective equipment were detained by authorities in early April. They were released within a few hours.
The Pakistani government has increased its stock of protective equipment after receiving large amounts of supplies from China and increasing local production.
Russia on April 26 reported the largest number of new coronavirus infections within 24 hours, confirming more than 6,360 new infections since the day before.
The one-day record came a day after health officials in Russia reported the country’s worst daily number of deaths from coronavirus with 66 deaths. More than half of the deaths occurred in Moscow.
According to a global database maintained by Johns Hopkins University, nearly 75,000 people have been infected by the corona virus in Russia. Russia’s official death toll from a pandemic is 681.
The Russian death count from COVID-19 is very low compared to Western Europe and the United States. That raises the question of whether death is artificially passed down by considering it as another cause, such as pneumonia or heart disease.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Novikov, a member of the lower house of the Russian parliament, or Duma, said he had been infected with COVID-19.
Novikov was the second Communist Duma representative to catch the virus after Leonid Kalashnikov, who was in the hospital with a fever.
Facing a projected decline of 6 percent in Russian GDP this year, a government panel tasked with dealing with the effects of coronavirus has instructed relevant ministries to submit proposals on the gradual lifting of restrictions on certain individual organizations and entrepreneurs, Interfax reported.
The Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Economic Development, Rospotrebnadzor consumer watchdog, and the Ministry of Health have until 30 April to fulfill instructions, which are published on government websites.
Tajikistan postponed the country’s 10-team soccer league match until May 10 amid a series of new coronavirus restrictions imposed by the government.
Tajikistan football federation said on April 26 that the suspension of league matches would take effect on April 27.
Why Numbers Don’t Tell Full Story
Daily compilation of global coronavirus cases by Johns Hopkins University currently the most comprehensive in the world, but depends on information provided by the government.
In many countries, there are limits to releasing information or reasons why the full story might not want to be told.
The methodology, closeness, transparency, and quality of this data can vary greatly from country to country.
The match scheduled to take place on April 26 is set to take place without spectators, just like any other match held in Tajikistan while the pandemic has spread across the world.
Tajikistan has not yet admitted that it has a corona virus case. That raised suspicions that the authorities in Dushanbe did not accurately report information about a pandemic in their country.
Other former Soviet republics in Central Asia have confirmed hundreds of cases.
On April 25, the Tajikistan government decided to close the school for two weeks. He also imposed a ban on grain exports in what the government said was an effort to ensure there was adequate domestic supply.
Tajikistan’s soccer league has attracted international attention in recent weeks as the only country to push forward with its football season.
With reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, DPA, RBK, Novaya Gazeta, Interfax, and TASS
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