IranMiddle East

Deputy Commander: Over 600,000 Basij Forces Fighting in Anti-Coronavirus Battle in Iran

Deputy Commander of Iran's Basij (Volunteer Force) Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Sepehr announced that more than 600,000 of his forces are at present actively helping the medical bodies in efforts to prevent coronavirus infection and treat patients.

“Today, over 600,000 Basij forces are rendering service to support different bodies in confronting coronavirus,” General Sepehr said on Saturday.

He underlined Iran’s success in controlling growing epidemic of coronavirus, and said 70mln of Iranian people have been screened for infection to COVID-19 virus with the help of 50,000 specialized Basij groups across the country.

Spokesman of Iran’s Health Ministry Kianoush Jahanpour announced on Friday that 2,715 new coronavirus cases have been identified in the country, totaling the number of the infected to 53,183.

He expressed happiness that so far 17,935 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospital, noting that unfortunately 134 coronavirus patients have succumbed to the disease during the past 24 hours, increasing the death toll to 3,294.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 59,000 people and infected over 1.1 million others globally.

The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and universities have been extended until mid April.

The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s North, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced last month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.

Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.

He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.

Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.

He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.

According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 90 across the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran’s response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.

The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.

The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.

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