President Hassan Rouhani has expressed his gratitude to the Iranian nation for their cooperation with a crisis task force set up to manage the nationwide battle against the coronavirus pandemic, saying public support has played a key role in the government’s plans to fight and curtail the outbreak.
In a Tuesday address to the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus, Rouhani hailed Iranians for abiding by restrictions introduced under the social distancing initiative to rein in COVID-19, including not making inter-city trips and closing nonessential businesses.
“My special thanks go to the dear and honorable people of Iran who have been cooperating well with the national coronavirus committee since the onset of the outbreak,” he said.
“The support and cooperation of the people is the principle. The Islamic Republic of Iran has managed to make achievements in confronting the dangerous coronavirus thanks to the people’s support and cooperation. This has come about because the people have been on the scene for the sake of their own health,” he added.
The Iranian chief executive also stressed that the nation had passed three major divine tests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, namely the eight-year Iraq-imposed war in the 1980s, the sanctions and the coronavirus outbreak.
He further noted that despite the difficult times caused by the respiratory disease, Iran has made notable achievements in tackling the crisis compared to other countries.
“It is true that doctors, nurses and medical personnel as well as the Armed Forces have been on the frontlines … but it was, in fact, the entire people” who joined the fight against the virus, Rouhani said.
He also announced new preventive measures approved at the committee fighting the coronavirus, among them an obligatory two-week self-quarantine for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Those refusing to observe the quarantine guidelines could even be prosecuted because they have violated the country’s law and endangered other people’s health, Rouhani said, adding that convalescent facilities will be at the service of those people who cannot quarantine at home.
The new coronavirus initially emerged in China late last year and is now spreading across the globe. Worldwide, there have been more than 788,000 confirmed cases of the virus and over 37,780 deaths.
Iran updates toll
On Tuesday, Iran’s Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour reported 3,111 new infections and 141 more deaths from the virus over the past 24 hours.
In total, 44,606 Iranian have contracted the disease and 2,898 have died, he pointed out, saying 14,656 patients have recovered so far.