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President Orders Free-of-Charge Treatment of Afghan Coronavirus Patients in Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined the necessity for free treatment of the Afghan nationals who are residents or visitors to Iran and have been infected with COVID-19 virus.

“If the Afghan brothers and sisters are infected to coronavirus in Iran, based on the approval of the National Coronavirus Campaign Headquarters, they should be treated free-of-charge,” Rouhani said in a video conference with the governor-generals of 5 Iranian provinces on Tuesday.

He added that Iran and its neighboring states are interconnected and should help each other in these hard conditions.

Rouhani also said that exchange of goods between Iran and Afghanistan is underway at borders, and stressed the need for meeting all hygiene protocols.

In relevant remarks last week, Head of Documentation Committee for Confronting Coronavirus Mohammad Asayee informed of screening thousands of foreign nationals living in Iran.

“As soon as the disease was identified in the country, security measures were taken in border regions”, Mohammad Asayee said, adding, “Many Pakistani and Afghan pilgrims have been screened at the quarantine posts set up on both sides.”

He went on to say that the Iranian health ministry had a very close cooperation with the foreign ministry concerning the affairs of migrants.

Referring to the exchange of experiences among countries to curb the epidemic, he said, “We have not reached the point to send doctors or nurses to other countries but once we get to the level that we do not need these forces, we will do this.”

Touching upon the issue of the number of the dead Afghans as a result of coronavirus epidemic, he reiterated, “There is no exact statistics of the deceased Afghans in Iran but there might be some,” adding, “The national headquarters for confronting coronavirus passed a law to render services to foreign nationals free-of-charge”.

The Iranian health ministry announced on Tuesday that 2,089 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified in the country, increasing the total number to 62,589 patients.

“2,089 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country since yesterday based on confirmed diagnosis criteria,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Tuesday.

He added that the number of coronavirus patients in Iran has increased to 62,589, adding that 3,872 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, 133 of them in the past 24 hours.

Jahanpour, meantime, said that the recovery of patients has accelerated in Iran and 27,039 infected people have been treated and dismissed from hospital.

He noted that 211,136 coronavirus diagnosis tests have been carried out in the country so far, adding that 3,987 patients infected with COVID-19 virus are in critical conditions.

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 74,700 people and infected over 1.35 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 most universities have been extended until late 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 over 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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