Iran: Coronavirus outbreak takes joy out of Nowruz celebration shopping

As Iran grapples with the novel coronavirus outbreak, shopping and preparations for the Persian New Year 'Nowruz' have been disrupted at the Tajrish Bazaar in Tehran. Instead of the usual hectic shopping and the ensuing traffic congestion for the biggest celebration in the Iranian calendar, footage from the once-busy bazaar, on Wednesday, shows shops being closed, while symbols of Nowruz, such... Еще as fish, grass and coloured eggs, piled up at the open shops signalling a lack of demand by the shy number of shoppers who were passing by. «Our lives have been disrupted. We have not bought as much as we did in previous years. Just the necessary items that we need for a month,» said a shopper named Azar. Another shopper named Kashani said that «We have tried not to leave our houses,» and added that «we have not left our houses to buy clothes, but just to buy necessary items as food.» One of the shopkeepers at the bazaar named Eslam said «this year was not good at all. Our goods have not been sold, and people do not leave their houses to purchases items due to this disease.» The fest, which has been celebrated by diverse communities for over 3,000 years, falls on March 20th this year and marks the beginning of the spring. Iran remains the hardest-hit nation in the Middle East with nearly 16,000 COVID-19 infections and 988 deaths, as of Tuesday evening.

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