Rouhani: We have to cut chain of coronavirus’ spread

March 11, 2020 - 13:48

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that it is essential to cut the chain of the coronavirus’ spread and avoid inter-city travels and traffic.

“We have reached a unique prescription about what action must be taken against the coronavirus. It is cutting the chain of the spread of the virus,” he said during a cabinet meeting.

“This chain starts by infection of one person and this person enters a gathering of people and the infection spreads to others. This chain starts from one point and spreads to other cities and even countries,” he explained.

He also said that disinfection must also been carried out to cut the chain.

Rouhani also said it is necessary to avoid trips between cities and traffic.

“All must pay attention to the issued protocols and guidelines to cut the chain of the spread,” he noted.

He called for observing all the healthcare guidelines during the Norouz (New Year) holidays to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

He said the Norouz holidays should not turn into a period during which the coronavirus is spread more by “unmanaged traveling and commuting”.

Elsewhere, Rouhani said that the whole administration is involved in campaign against the coronavirus.

“We seek to create a situation in which the people observe all the guidelines and live through this hard time. Today, all our ministers are involved.” 

‘If people do not cooperate, we will not reach a result soon’

Rouhani also said that if the people do not cooperate, no good result will be achieved soon to control its outbreak.

“However, if the people cooperate, we will reach result soon,” he added.

He also said that the safest place for the people is home.

“We are through hard days. However, these hard days will pass and we will stand beside each other,” he pointed out.

‘Approvals of center tasked to control coronavirus must be followed by all’

Rouhani also said that approvals of the National Headquarters for Fighting Coronavirus must be observed by all bodies.

In separate phone talks with governors of Qom, Mazandaran and Gilan provinces on Tuesday, Rouhani said that a “serious, precise and determined implementation” of the headquarters’ protocols is essential.

Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said on Monday that all bodies must follow the decisions taken by the headquarters. 

“It has been approved by the Supreme Council of National Security that all sectors must follow decisions of this headquarters,” he said during a meeting with Minister of Health Saeed Namaki and a number of lawmakers sitting on the Majlis Health Committee.
Larijani noted that all efforts must be made to help the headquarters succeed in its effort to contain the virus.

‘Spreading fear is worse than coronavirus’

Rouhani also said that spreading fear is worse than the coronavirus.

“We must defeat the coronavirus. We must observe the guidelines and at the same time avoid spreading fear among the people,” he said.

Calls for Rouhani to take helm of committee fighting coronavirus

Calls have been growing for Rouhani to personally take charge of the crisis committee formed to manage the nationwide fight against a coronavirus epidemic.

In a statement addressed to the president on Tuesday, a group of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) outlined a set of emergency measures that the government could take to promote its efforts to rein in COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is called.

They highlighted the need for Rouhani, as the country’s chief executive, to take over the crisis committee’s leadership from the Health Ministry to pave the way for better coordination among the country’s executive institutions, Press TV reported.

It is, however, natural that the Health Ministry should still remain in charge of handling the crisis and devising the healthcare policies and guidelines, the statement said.

The signatories to the statement said the government needs to follow the strategy of giving “priority to prevention over treatment.”

They also called for the government to provide transparent information on the disease and its aftermath to the public, place worst-hit provinces under lockdown, and make effective use of medical aid deliveries from the World Health Organization (WHO) and foreign countries, among other measures.

Meanwhile, a senior lawmaker said Tuesday that Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is said to have asked the president to assume the leadership of the national committee.

First Deputy Parliament Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian told a television program late Tuesday that Parliament Speaker Larijani had written to the Leader, demanding a change in the committee’s leadership.

Pezeshkian said the letter had been penned following an hours-long meeting of lawmakers and Health Minister Namaki.

“The letter — as far as I know — was about lifting the burden from the Health Ministry’s shoulders and passing it on to the government. In that meeting, it was proposed that the first vice president or another person take charge of the committee,” he said.

“As I have heard, the Leader has written in response that the president should personally assume the responsibility and lead the operations to combat the disease,” he added.

NA/PA

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