President Hassan Rouhani warned Iranians on Saturday to prepare to live with the novel coronavirus “for a long time”, as the country gradually rolls back restrictions imposed to curb the outbreak.

People should not assume that “this disease will be eliminated in 15 days or a month: we must therefore follow the instructions for a long time,” Mr. Rouhani said during a weekly meeting of the coronavirus taskforce.

“We must end all gatherings, be it marriage, mourning, or family visits, until told otherwise by the Health Minister,” he added.

Authorities have progressively lifted restrictions imposed to tackle the virus, and activity has almost returned to normal in most of the country’s 31 provinces.

The rising trajectory of infection figures since a low in early May and the lack of observance of physical distancing measures have authorities worried. According to Mr. Rouhani, there is no “second path” for Iran and economic activity across the country must continue.

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