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Virus infections declining in most Iranian provinces: Ministry

Iran says new cases of coronavirus infections and deaths from the viral outbreak have been declining across most of the country's 31 provinces.

“In six provinces, the trend of coronavirus infections has had an upward movement and in some provinces, including Isfahan, it has not increased or decreased significantly and has almost flattened,” Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said Monday.

The official touched on his ministry’s three main strategies in handling the coronavirus outbreak, foremost the stay-at-home order.

“The first strategy is to maximize smart social distancing. This means people still need to remain at home and avoid any unnecessary trips, visits and shopping,” he added.

“Identifying the infected but asymptomatic patients is the second strategy. Eighty percent of infected people have either little or no symptoms. These individuals can spread the virus in the society and our efforts are aimed at identifying them in the early stages.”

“The third strategy is to identify and isolate people who have been in contact with either patients or asymptomatic carriers. This step is being experimented in Zanjan province and will be extended to other provinces,” Harirchi said.

Identifying these individuals in the family, the workplace, and their interactions and isolating and quarantining them at home is essential because they can spread the virus to others if they develop symptoms, he added.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday Iran has handled the coronavirus outbreak better than Europe and the United States, adding in fighting the virus, the Iranian people resisted well and assisted each other.

“This is an honor for all, for all our loved ones and people. Yes, our situation is relatively good in the fight against the disease and the dangerous virus, and our situation is better in comparison with some countries,” he said. 

Iran has handled virus outbreak better than US, Europe: President Rouhani

Iran has handled virus outbreak better than US, Europe: President Rouhani President Hassan Rouhani says Iran has handled the novel coronavirus outbreak better than Europe and the United States.

The novel virus that emerged in central China late last year can cause a potentially fatal respiratory infection called COVID-19. So far, it has killed more than 114,290 people, including 4,585 in Iran, and infected above 1,854,000 worldwide.

Illegal US sanctions have hampered the virus fight in Iran which is battling the Middle East’s most deadly outbreak.

Iran has requested a $5 billion emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund to battle the outbreak. But the US, which effectively controls the IMF, has signaled it has no intention to allow the loan.

Rouhani said Sunday the country has won a legal “victory” over $1.6 billion of its assets that had long been frozen on a US request in Luxembourg.

“$1.6 billion of our money was in Luxembourg and the Americans had put their hands on it,” he said. “After trying for months, we succeeded some days ago and freed this money from the Americans’ grasp.”

Iran has been employing strict precautionary measures since the virus surfaced in the country. It has heavily ramped up the required health services, including by increasing the number of hospital beds, and shot up the production of disinfectants and relevant sanitary items.

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