Iran imposes restrictions amid COVID resurgence

Iran has introduced new social restrictions to tame a fresh wave of coronavirus infections. The measures include a ban on nighttime driving in the capital, Tehran.

Infections have been resurging since September, with around 13,000 new cases reported in each of the past few days. The new restrictions took effect nationwide on Saturday.

In Tehran, authorities shut down all stores, except for those selling food, medicine, and other daily necessities. The closure will continue for at least two weeks.

Driving is banned between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m., except for buses and other public transportation services. Violators face a fine of 10-million rials, or about 37 dollars.

A man in Tehran said restrictions are necessary to protect people's health. But he said no work means no wages, and that the new steps will hurt livelihoods.

A man who works for a clothing firm said business has come to a complete halt, because the shops are shuttered. He added there is nothing he can do.

Concern is rising over the impact of the new measures. Iran's economy is already shrinking due to US economic sanctions. Inflation, caused by the plunge in currency value, has added to the turmoil.