Speaking at a meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus on Tuesday, President Rouhani appreciated people for heeding the health recommendations and the warnings of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus.
He also thanked the devotion and self-sacrifice of all the medical staff in the country, stressing that it is still imperative to regard social distancing, keep contacts minimal and reduce travels to the least possible.
President Rouhani referred to the report presented at the session and described the decreasing number of hospital check-ins and death toll as indications of vital working measures.
“Among the topics discussed was a report where, overall, it was evident that hospital check-ins in provinces had declined and that the death toll was declining, both of which were important to us. The steps taken so far have been important,” he said.
“Once again, we thank the health system of the country for all the hard work, dedication and sacrifice it is making for this important work, and thank our dear people for heeding the recommendations. Statistics show that most people pay attention to these recommendations,” the president said.
“One of the important issues raised at the meeting is that we must implement policies to provide the health system with the time needed for treatment. So we have to act in a way that our beds, our intensive care unit, and our doctors and nurses have the potential and capacity to do this.
The next issue was for us to do something that in terms of health care, the virus would not spread so that we could break the chain and it was suggested that an infected person would infect several people if they had normal contact, and what happens if they were quarantined.
Therefore, it is important that if we find out somebody is infected by the virus he or she must be quarantined for two weeks,” he added.
“Therefore, it has been recommended that all those businesses or gatherings that were declared closed before, remain closed until April 3, including education centres and shopping malls, except for groceries, shops selling hygiene products and people’s daily needs.
The Ministry of Health has announced in our previous sessions that social distancing must be around 2 metres, and we must pay attention to these recommendations,” the president said.
He noted that it is still imperative to keep contacts minimal and reduce travels to the least possible until the end of holidays, which is April 19, and said, “The other issue was the number of cars that have exited province capitals; for example, Tehran and Karaj were brought up. Naturally, they have numbers and we have their mobile numbers. It would be good to ask the same questions from the owners and if somebody has a problem, we can address it.”
“I emphasize once again, we had previously decided that cars have to be examined at city exits and people must be checked for temperature, but someone told me that he was checked three times on the way from Tehran to Karaj. This is not what we announced.”
“I once again ask the governors and governor generals to pay attention to all decisions.”
Noting that another point that was raised at the meeting was about companies that provide public services and instead of people going to the stores they provide services and bring what people need to their door, and said, “These companies are expected to continue their efforts, and if they have problems with the supply of services, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology should assist them.”
“The goal is to reduce people’s going out of house so that one person can get out instead of 10 people.
Another issue was government employees. Out of the total number of government employees, which is about 2.5 million, 1.2 employees stopped working or their work was limited from March 20.”
“Some other employees, that means around 500 thousand people or less, can begin working and 2/3 of whom can stay home until April 3.”
He also referred to the prisoners, whose furlough was decided to extend to April 3, and said, “We decided to extend it to April 19.”
“I urge the dear people of our country to observe the health recommendations so that we can overcome this problem,” the president said.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 180 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 16,700 people and infected over 386,000 others globally.
Iran reported on Tuesday that a total number of 1,934 coronavirus patients have died and 24,811 cases of infection have been identified in the country so far. Meanwhile, 8,931 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 for the next two weeks.
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.