Iran said Friday the security forces will clear the streets nationwide within 24 hours so all citizens can be checked for coronavirus — its toughest measure yet to combat the outbreak.
The COVID-19 epidemic in Iran — a nation of more than 80 million people — has now claimed over 500 lives and infected more than 11,000.
Since it announced the first deaths last month, Iran has shut schools, postponed events and discouraged travel ahead of Nowrouz, the country’s New Year holidays.
But despite those and other measures including the cancellation of the main weekly Friday prayers, the official number of deaths and infections has continued to grow exponentially.
Iran’s supreme leader on Thursday ordered the armed forces to lead the battle against the outbreak.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei instructed the security forces to bring their services together and expand efforts to combat the virus.