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Coronavirus Cancels Nature’s Day Celebrations in Iran

The thirteenth day of the Iranian calendar month of Farvardin is traditionally marked in Iran as Nature’s Day, or Sizdah Bedar. The annual festival is an opportunity for people to picnic outdoors with family and friends and enjoy nature. But not this year! And the coronavirus pandemic is to blame.

Iranians have been strongly advised to stay home and authorities have banned gatherings and introduced other restrictions as the country seeks to push back against the COVID-19.

Inter-city trips have been banned and nonessential businesses must stay closed, Press TV reported.

The government says normal life may not return to the country until a cure or vaccine is found for Covid-19. It also says social distancing measures should remain in place well into the spring to help the national health system cope with the pandemic.

In the capital Tehran, public transport services have been reduced to minimum and government offices are manned by only one-third of the regular staff as part of efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

Those who ignore the restrictions and social distancing guidelines will be fined.

According to the World Health Organization, Iran has scaled up all elements of its response to the crisis and has improved coordination between government agencies and provincial bodies. It had also begun converting production capacity, including some military capacity, to producing personal protection gear and equipment to address shortfalls caused by US sanctions.

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