Pedestrians wearing masks are seen in downtown Tehran, Iran, Feb. 23, 2020. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday issued an order to form a national headquarters to cope with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, state TV reported. Since Iran announced the first batch cases of the coronavirus in the country on Wednesday, 43 Iranians have been confirmed infected by the virus, eight of whom have died. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)
Pedestrians wearing masks are seen in downtown Tehran, Iran, Feb. 23, 2020. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday issued an order to form a national headquarters to cope with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, state TV reported. Since Iran announced the first batch cases of the coronavirus in the country on Wednesday, 43 Iranians have been confirmed infected by the virus, eight of whom have died. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua) Since Iran announced the first batch cases of the coronavirus in the country on Wednesday, 43 Iranians have been confirmed infected by the virus, eight of whom have died. (Photo by Ahmad Halabisaz/Xinhua)

dpa/GNA – In Iran, a one-month lockdown has led to a decrease in the number of coronavirus cases.

“We must now try to stabilize the status quo first and then to reduce the numbers even further,” President Hassan Rowhani said on Saturday.

Since the nationwide lockdown at the end of November, the number of deaths per day has fallen from over 480 to 130, and that of new infections has fallen from 14,000 to 6,000.

The “ideal situation” is still a long way off, but the latest figures and the prospect of efficient vaccines give hope, the president said on state television.

There have been over 54,000 deaths and more than 1 million infections in Iran since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in late February.

Despite the acute economic crisis, the central bank has made available 200 million euros (243 million dollars) for the import of coronavirus vaccines, but US sanctions on Iran have complicated imports.

The Ministry of Health is also working on a local vaccine. Nevertheless, it is still unclear when and how vaccination can be carried out in Iran.

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