“1,076 new patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in Iran since Friday noon and the number of infected people has increased to 5,823,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.
He expressed regret that 21 infected patients have passed away since Friday, raising the death toll to 145.
Jahanpour said that 1,669 coronavirus patients have also recovered so far.
Reports from different cities and towns of Iran indicate strenuous efforts by officials to help the coronavirus patients and prevent the spread of the epidemic.
As a preventive measure, Iranian authorities have ordered closure of educational and cultural institutions across the country and the gyms and sports events by the end of winter.
Globally, more than 102,000 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with over 3,400 deaths so far, the vast majority of them in China where the virus originated late last year.
The coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East, Europe, US and other parts of the world, while parts of China begin to lower their emergency response level as the number of new cases reported there continues to slow.
Authorities across the United States reported 307 cases of coronavirus and 17 deaths as of Friday, with Florida reporting the first deaths on the East Coast.
Tehran’s municipality announced that all the city’s public places, including the metro trains and buses, are being disinfected at the end of the line every hour as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.
Head of Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz also said that pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell protective masks and that masks will be distributed among the population via government-run centers free of charge, with the priority given to virus-hit provinces.
Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced last week 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) stressed Iran’s high capabilities to prevent an epidemic of novel coronavirus infection.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting last week to brief a WHO representative and the foreign ambassadors residing in Tehran on the latest preventive and therapeutic measures taken by the country to contain COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is called.
In comments at the meeting, the WHO representative said Iran has the necessary fundamental capabilities to tackle the epidemic, and that Tehran’s performance has been as “successful and exemplary” in the region and the world.
The Iranian Health Ministry officials, who were also present at the meeting, reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to the international health regulations and standards.
Iran enjoys all the technical and specialized capabilities needed to battle the coronavirus, they stressed.