IRGC, Basij pledge to continue fight against coronavirus until full victory

March 2, 2020 - 14:15

TEHRAN — The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and Basij forces will remain active in the field until Iran fully overcomes coronavirus outbreak, IRGC announced in a statement on Sunday.

“Your children in the Guards and Basij, until fully defeating the disease and returning of normal conditions, will be ready and active in the field of cooperation and help,” the IRGC said in the statement, IRNA reported.

“The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, as a popular body coming from the pious and revolutionary society of Iran, has always been with you dear, kind and decent people and this companionship has been featured and witnessed in times of natural disasters and catastrophes such as flooding, earthquake, etc.,” the statement read.

It also thanked efforts made by Health Minister Saeed Namaki as well as the country’s medical staff.

Up until Sunday afternoon, the virus that showed up in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year has infected 978 people in Iran and claimed the lives of 54 across the country.

Iranian medical officials have assured that the country would, in the near future, rein in the outbreak, saying that the condition of many patients diagnosed with the virus has improved.

Defense Minister Amir Hatami has assigned his ministry’s subsidiary organizations with the task of mass-producing liquid disinfectants and protective masks, which are currently in high demand and are being freely distributed by health centers countrywide.

On Thursday, Kianoush Jahanpour, head of the Health Ministry’s Public Relations and Information Center, said screening process had gone underway at the entrance to some cities, adding that suspected cases would be quarantined for a space of 14 days.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi had said last week that around 20,000 testing kits were to be delivered to Iran by the Chinese government.

President Hassan Rouhani has also said coronavirus testing kits developed by Iranian experts were undergoing final tests and would enter the mass-production stage in the near future.

Meanwhile, Tehran has denounced Washington’s false expression of readiness to assist Iran in the fight against coronavirus outbreak as a “ridiculous” and “hypocritical” move and part of a political and psychological game.

In a statement on Friday, Mousavi responded to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim about helping Iran in the battle with the infectious disease, which has been hugely publicized in the media and has been widely advertised before informing Iran.

“The claim of helping Iran in the fight against coronavirus, made by a country that has exerted massive pressures on the Iranian people with its economic terrorism and has even blocked the (Iranian) purchase of medicine and medical equipment, is a ridiculous claim and a political-psychological game,” Mousavi said.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced in a statement on Thursday that the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA) is fully operational.

“The SHTA will further facilitate the flow of humanitarian goods to the Iranian people,” the statement said.

“The SHTA is the first operational channel established under the framework announced by the U.S. Department of State and the Treasury in October 2019 to facilitate humanitarian trade with Iran. Initial transactions were successfully conducted in late January 2020 to demonstrate the viability and effectiveness of the SHTA.”

Tehran has also categorically denied the BBC Persian’s claim that at least 210 people have died from coronavirus.

Jahanpour said on Friday that the London-based channel is seeking to take political advantage of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Coronavirus has brought suffering and infirmity upon the people of the world. However, it has turned into a source of profit for such satellite channels and others with corresponding roles in Saudi Arabian and Albanian channels,” Press TV quoted Jahanpour as saying.

It came hours after the London-based channel cited unnamed “hospital sources” as saying that 210 have died from the virus.


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