Dubai-based Emirates airlines restarted its operations to the Iran capital on Friday. The country was in lockdown for five months to contain the spread of coronavirus.
However, Iran is one of the worst-hit country in the Middle East. It is trying to stop the virus from spreading since it reported its first two COVID-19 deaths in February.
The neighbouring countries implemented strict quarantine measures after they had their first coronavirus cases. However, restricting all travel from Iran.
Flight to Tehran
There were 16 passengers flown on the Emirates flight from Dubai to Tehran’s airport. All the passengers were made to pass through a disinfection tunnel. Moreover, the Tehran airport was checking the body temperatures of all the passengers arrival at the airport.
In the departures lounge, it is mandatory for the passengers to wear face masks and all the outgoing passengers were wearing masks at the Emirates check-in counter. The airport workers are disinfecting the luggage trolleys.
However, the United Arab Emirates like many other countries suspended all air links with Iran in February due to the spike in coronavirus cases. The other neighbouring countries that restricted travel to Iran are Armenia, Iraq, Kuwait and Turkey.
The UAE is a key international transit route for Iranians and it was operating daily flights to Iran.
“My colleagues and I screened the passengers for symptoms with interviews and we also have thermal sensors,” said Nadia Piri, one of the airport’s resident doctors.
However, on arriving at the airport passengers had to fill in forms, Piri said, and would have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Airport deputy head Mohammadreza Karimian said a number of airlines have asked to resume flights to Iran.
“Different airlines have made requests, considering that we observe all health protocols throughly,” he said, without naming them.
Reoccurance of Cases
There has been reoccurrance of coronavirus cases in Iran. The officials are reporting a rise in both new infections and deaths since a two-month low in May.
The health ministry on Friday said the overall virus toll is more than 13,790 deaths, with 183 new fatalities, and over 269,400 confirmed cases.
However, the country has is not imposing complete lockdowns but it is not reopening schools. The government is banning all public gatherings.
It banned travel between provinces in March but lifting the order the next month.
Due to spike in cases the government authorities are making the mask wearing policy mandatory in enclosed public spaces. However it is allowing worst-hit provinces to reimpose restrictions, with the capital Tehran among the latest.