Iran plans new restrictions in capital as COVID cases hit record

Iran’s health ministry on Friday reported a record 6,134 new coronavirus cases for the previous 24 hours. (File/AFP)
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Updated 23 October 2020

Iran plans new restrictions in capital as COVID cases hit record

  • IranAir said it was resuming European flights which had been suspended in March because of the pandemic
  • Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 335 people had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours

DUBAI: Iran is planning new restrictions, including state employees working every other day in the capital Tehran, after a record surge in coronavirus cases on Friday, a senior official said.
Iran's Health Ministry reported 6,134 new cases for the previous 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 556,891 in the Middle East's hardest-hit country.
"One decision by the Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce is for staff at state bodies to be cut by 50% next week, and coming to work every other day," taskforce head Alireza Zali told state news agency IRNA.
He said authorities were also looking into having various job categories start work at different times to ease crowding and traffic.
The restrictions were expected to last for about a month in Tehran, where the coronavirus spread has been particularly alarming, Zali added.
Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari earlier told state TV that 335 people had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 31,985, as Iran fights a third wave of the disease.
Meanwhile, flag-carrier IranAir said it was resuming European flights which had been suspended in March because of the pandemic.


Libyan deputies pledge to end divisions

Updated 28 November 2020

Libyan deputies pledge to end divisions

  • At the end of talks, 123 of the parliament’s 180 members pledged to put an end to “hate speech” and “divisions”
  • They vowed to hold “parliamentary elections and to complete the transition as soon as possible”

TANGIER: More than 120 Libyan deputies pledged Saturday in Morocco to “end the divisions” that undermine their country, starting by convening the elected parliament as soon as they return home.
The House of Representatives has not met for two years, and Libya has been wracked by violence and chaos since the toppling and killing of dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
Two rival administrations have been vying for control of the country — the Government of National Accord and an eastern administration backed by part of the elected parliament.
The latter is deeply divided, with sessions taking place in parallel in the east and west.
At the end of five days of talks in Tangier, Morocco, 123 of the parliament’s 180 members pledged on Saturday to put an end to “hate speech” and “divisions” that undermine Libyan institutions.
They vowed to hold “parliamentary elections and to complete the transition as soon as possible,” and that all members of the House of Representatives would meet in session “as soon as they return” to Libya.
The session will take place in Ghadames, a desert oasis near Libya’s borders with both Algeria and Tunisia.
Ghadames is considered to be far from the centers of power.
“Having 123 deputies at the same table is in itself a success,” Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said.
“Libya needs a House of Representatives that plays its role... The next meeting in Libya will have a great impact on political dialogue,” he said.
The talks come at a time of increasing moves to break the deadlock in the country, which has Africa’s biggest oil reserves.
In mid-November, a UN-sponsored political dialogue forum in Tunis agreed to hold elections on December 24, 2021, but not on who will lead the transition.