Nationwide screening shows %97 have no coronavirus symptoms: Rouhani 

March 14, 2020 - 21:14

TEHRAN - The Health Ministry has conducted a screening plan asking millions of Iranians about symptoms of coronavirus epidemic that fortunately about %97 of the respondents answered they had no symptoms, President Hassan Rouhani announced on Saturday.

Rouhani made the announcement as he attended a session of National Headquarters for Fighting Coronavirus via video conference.

He also appreciated Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for proposing the establishment of a health and treatment headquarters by the military to battle the virus, hoping for better cooperation and coordination among the relevant bodies. 

Rouhani agrees to limit road traffic in 11 provinces to counter virus outbreak  

Rouhani also agreed with a proposal by Health Minister Saeed Namaki to set up road traffic control teams in 11 provinces.

However, the president said, “We must be accurate in specifying controlling points in the proposed provinces; in the meantime, the controlling teams should act carefully in order to avoid any problem for road traffic. People should be informed about any development in advance.”

There was no mention of the provinces which will be subject to road traffic limitation.

Rouhani added that a meeting will be held on Sunday to review the negative impacts of the virus on the economy which will be attended by members of the economic headquarters and representative of the private sector.

On Friday, top commanders of the IRGC, Army and police gathered together on how to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

The session, held at the Imam Reza Health and Treatment Base in Tehran, was headed by Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the chairman of the Armed Forces Chief of Staff.

Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi; the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Hossein Salami; Police Chief Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari; Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces for Coordination Affairs Major General Ali Abdollahi; and Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces for Intelligence Affairs Brigadier General Gholamreza Ebrahimi were among the top commanders attending the session. 

The commanders reviewed establishment of the base in detail and exchanged views over its structure in order to activate the headquarters as soon as possible. 

After the meeting, General Baqeri announced that in the next seven or ten days all Iranian citizens would be screened to identify people suspected of the coronavirus infection.

He said the screening would be done either through social media, telephone and if necessary in front of people’s homes.

The healthy people would stay at home but the suspects would be examined in certain medical centers which would be established for the purpose.

The commander said about 1000 mobile and fixed clinics would be added to the country’s health centers for the purpose.

The military chief also said in cooperation with the Interior Ministry the traffic in roads, streets and shopping centers would be limited.  

In a decree on Thursday, Leader ordered the establishment of a “health and treatment headquarters” to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in the country.

In his edict, which was addressed to General Baqeri, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the services to the people by the Armed Forces in their drive to hamper further spread of coronavirus and said, “It is necessary that these services be organized in the form of a health and treatment headquarters.” 

Ayatollah Khamenei added, “In addition to establishing such treatment facilities as field hospitals and infirmaries, and so forth, you must focus on prevention of further spread of this disease through necessary means as well.

“Since there is speculation that this incident might be a ‘biological attack’, this measure could be also some form of biological defense drill, which would add to national power and strength [of the country],” the leader stated.

The virus first emerged in China in December last year and is now spreading in Europe, the U.S. and across the Middle East, sparking fears of a global pandemic. 

The World Health Organization  (WHO) on Wednesday declared the rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, acknowledging what seemed clear for some time — the virus would likely spread to all countries on the globe.

Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation would worsen.

“We expect to see the number of cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” said Tedros, as the director-general is known

As of Saturday, 120 countries have reported that 140,000 have contracted COVID-19. over 5,000 people have thus far died.

Following the disease outbreak, the Iranian authorities ordered the closure of schools, universities and cultural and sports events in a bid to contain the outbreak. 

The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Saturday that totally 12,729 nationals have been confirmed infected by the virus, out of which 611 have lost their lives.

According to the Health Ministry, the health condition of a sum of 4,339 patients have improved.

MJ/PA

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