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IRGC, Basij Commanders Hold Joint Meeting with Medical Officials to Contain Coronavirus Epidemic

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami, Basij Commander Brigadier General Gholamreza Soleimani and other IRGC commanders participated in a joint meeting with the heads of Iran's medical sciences universities to coordinate efforts to prevent further spread of coronavirus in the country.

“The Wednesday remarks by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution set the agenda for a national jihad against Coronavirus,” General Salami said, addressing the virtual meeting on Thursday.

He called on IRGC commanders in all provinces to help people have less traffic in cities and towns.

“Do not hesitate about extending any kind of help needed. Even do people’s shopping. Today we need a jihad and revolution, we should eradicate the virus in great jihad,” General Salami said.

He appreciated the medical staff for their hard work to treat the coronavirus patients, and called for cooperation with them to contain the disease’s outbreak.

Meantime, Deputy Commander of the Iranian Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that following the Supreme Leader’s comments and the Army commander’s order and considering the need for immediate control of the coronavirus disease and cooperation with the civil sector, 14 orders were communicated to the Ground, Air Defense, Air and Naval forces.

The maximum increase in beds and wards of 6 hospitals in Tehran and 30 Army hospitals in other cities was among the orders communicated to the forces, he added.

Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday called on the military to help the health authorities to step up the vaccination campaign and to make sure the standard operating procedures of COVID-19 are respected by the people. He also urged the people to help the health and medical staff by adhering to COVID-19 instructions set by the relevant authorities.

The Leader voiced concern about the surge of coronavirus outbreak and deaths in the country, ordering the Iranian officials to rapidly deal with the issue by every means possible, including increasing imports and production of more vaccines.

In a televised message delivered on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the recent wave of coronavirus, saying that this issue is the first and foremost issue of the country.

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 2019. It has so far killed over 4.3 million people and infected over 204 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), former 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 most universities have been extended until further notice.

Iran’s new President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi ordered the foreign ministry and health officials to accelerate imports and injection of coronavirus vaccine amid surge in the country’s reported COVID-19 deaths.

Addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Rayeesi urged Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to take the necessary measures to accelerate the imports of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He described coronavirus disease as the most immediate problem of the country, saying that if all the country’s capacities are not used to curb the epidemic, it will be difficult to get rid of the current unfavorable situation in the country.

Rayeesi, meantime, voiced respect for the previous measures for containing the disease, and said that more effective methods are needed in order to be able to fight the virus.

He also called on the Iranian Red Crescent Society to do its utmost to expand and expedite public vaccination.

Iran has seen a major surge in the number of coronavirus deaths and infections in recent days as the Delta variant of the virus continues to spread across the country.

Rayeesi has set an ultimatum for the government to drastically change its methods of fighting the coronavirus epidemic as the country’s health system struggles under a fifth wave of infections.

Rayeesi told members of the high-profile National Headquarters for Battling Coronavirus (NHBC) that Iran has to come up with an extensive plan for mobilizing volunteer forces to fight the rapid spread of the disease.

“The universal plan for overhaul in methods of fighting the coronavirus will be compiled in a special committee using the experiences of the past one and half years of the country,” said the president, adding that the plan will be open for debate in NHBC’s next Saturday meeting.

Rayeesi said governorate offices and medical universities in provincial capitals are expected to immediately submit their proposals for the new plan. 

He said the plan would include clear action guidelines on hygiene protocols, vaccine production and delivery as well as on government support for health staff and businesses affected by the virus.

On vaccinations, Rayeesi vowed that his administration will continue to support domestic vaccine production although he said that no efforts will be spared to receive abundant supplies from abroad.

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