Addressing a cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday, the president recalled how his government endeavored to not allow the Iranian people to feel any shortage of staples, especially food and sanitary items, in the wake of the outbreak.
“You can compare Iran to other countries,” he said, in reference to nearly 170 nations that have been already affected by the virus.
“Compare Tehran to London, Berlin, and Paris… See for yourselves what is going on there. Shop racks have been emptied and people got into a fight over a roll of toilet paper,” Rouhani said. “The people there are concerned about foodstuffs and their hospitals say they have run out of beds.”
“However, we rushed to supply the public requirements amid the situation,” Rouhani said, adding that the government has done all in its power to deal with the crisis.
The president said following the outbreak, the country increased the capacity for producing sanitary and medical products for the general public and the medical personnel, while also meeting part of the demand through imports.
He assured the nation that the country would not face any shortage of medical supplies and hospital beds, and that public and private medical sectors as well as the Armed Forces will continue to serve the people.
Rouhani expressed delight in the news that in the north-central city of Qom and the northern province of Gilan, which took the brunt of the outbreak after its emergence, “the outbreak is past its peak.”
He thanked Iran’s religious authorities for their cooperation after the country was forced to call off Friday prayers and shut popular religious centers to prevent further spread of the virus.
“The clergy broke down [ideological] dogmatism and the world witnessed that such dogmatism has no place in our jurisprudence and seminaries,” he said.
Rouhani also hailed Iran’s adherence to transparency concerning the extent of the outbreak, saying the officials notified the public right after the virus emerged in Qom.
Iran reports increase in infections, deaths
Meanwhile, the Iranian Health Ministry released its daily update of new infections and deaths caused by the outbreak on Tuesday.
With 1,192 new cases diagnosed in the past 24 hours, the total number of infections has risen to 17,361.
Also, the death toll registered the highest daily increase. With 147 new deaths, the fatality count has now reached 1,135.
The report also said 5,710 patients have completely recovered.