Iranian Health Minister Saeed Nemki warned today, Monday, of a second wave and the most severe cases of emerging coronaviruses, which may afflict the country if citizens ignore the guidelines and rules of social separation.

“The outbreak (of the virus) is not over and it may return at any moment, stronger than before … If people do not respect health measures … let us prepare ourselves for the worst situation,” Nmky said at a press conference today, Monday.

“We still have a long way to go in our war against the virus … and all health measures must be respected,” Nmky added.

Iran, one of the countries worst hit by the virus in the region, began easing general isolation measures in April after a drop in deaths.

Iran has registered 154,445 cases of HIV in total as of Monday, an increase of 2979 cases over the previous day. It also recorded 81 new deaths, bringing the total number to 7878.

Government employees have returned to work, and mosques have been open for daily prayers since last Saturday, as part of a relaxation of public isolation measures.

But the authorities were forced to resume restrictions in the southern provinces of Khuzestan, Sistan and Baluchestan in mid-May after a slight increase in the number of cases there.