Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared new plans to intensify efforts to contain coronavirus epidemic, saying that his country has acted much better than many other world states in this regard.
Rouhani made the remarks, addressing a meeting of the economic committee of the national coronavirus campaign headquarters on Thursday.
He hailed efforts made by the officials at the Ministry of Health as well as the medical staff across the country, including doctors and nurses who are in front row of the battle against the deadly virus, saying that Iran is in better conditions than other world countries in terms of battling and containing the coronavirus.
Although world states are in difficult conditions in coping with coronavirus, Iran has about 20,000 empty beds at hospitals, President Rouhani said.
He elaborated on counter-coronavirus measures taken by his government to reduce the damages of the deadly virus, and noted that the Armed Forces have prepared some 4,000 beds in case of emergencies.
Also, new restrictions, including social distancing, will be placed across the country as of today, he said, expressing the hope that the new plan would cut the coronavirus epidemic chain thus giving the government a new chance in taking fresh measures to lower infection cases.
The president further said the national reserves are sufficient enough to provide for people’s basic needs.
Iran is fighting with both coronavirus and sanctions, while other countries are countering the virus only and have multiple sources, the president said, censuring anti-Iran bans.
According to the President, special financial assistance will be provided to those businesses which have suffered losses due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 195 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 21,500 people and infected over 478,000 others globally.
Iran reported on Thursday that a total number of 2,234 coronavirus patients have died and 29,406 cases of infection have been identified in the country so far. Meanwhile, 10,457 people have also recovered.
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 early 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 earlier this 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.
Namaki said that the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 22, and will increase to 40 soon.
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.