Iran Parl to decide on suspending sessions over COVID-10

Tehran: An Iranian lawmaker said the countrys Parliament was considering whether to suspend sessions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, as authorities predict a surge in infections in the upcoming week.

Spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s presiding board Asadollah Abbasi said on Friday that Health Minister Saeed Namaki had written to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani urging the suspension of the sessions “for the time being”, reports Press TV

The spokesman added that a decision on the matter will be announced after debating the issue on Saturday.

According to the Health Ministry on Friday, coronavirus infections have claimed the lives of 34 Iranians, with a total number of 388 people having been diagnosed with the disease across the country.

Four Iranian parliament members have tested positive for the new coronavirus, including the representative for the city of Qom, where cases were first detected.

Speaking on Friday, Namaki said that authorities expected a “surge” in infections in the upcoming week based on epidemiological observations of international and domestic infection trends, Press TV reported.

He added that schools across the country would be closed until Monday.

On Friday, Iran also cancelled the main congregational Friday prayers in Tehran and 22 major cities for the first time in decades in a bid to check the disease’s spread, the BBC said in a report.

Over 900 cities and towns across Iran hold Friday prayer services, featuring sermons by imams designated by the Supreme Leader.