Police not tasked to quarantine cities in Iran

March 16, 2020 - 18:30

TEHRAN — Iran’s police chief says his forces are not tasked to quarantine cities and towns due to the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Brigadier General Hossein Ashtari said on Sunday that neither the Coronavirus Fight National Headquarters nor the police have the idea of quarantining cities, Tasnim reported.

Ashtari said the police believe that the new disease will be controlled and contained through public cooperation as was the case in previous challenges.

He also warned of the enemies’ plot to orchestrate a psychological war in order to provoke people into hoarding goods and disrupt the distribution of basic commodities in Iran.

President Hassan Rouhani has also dismissed the idea of quarantining the cities.

“There is a rumor that a number of shops and some businesses would be quarantined in Tehran or in some other cities; there is no such thing at all, there is no quarantine, not today, not during the Nowruz holidays, not afterwards and not before that,” he said on Sunday.

“Everybody is free in their businesses and activities,” the president underlined, saying that the administration strives to offer services and run the economic activities in such a way that people would stay at home as much as possible.

On Monday, Rouhani urged people to stay at home.
He also claimed that the coronavirus epidemic in Iran has passed its peak. 

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease that emerged in China last December and has spread around the world, halting industries, bringing travel to a standstill, closing schools, and forcing the cancellation of public events.

Iran is currently battling the world’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus in the West Asia region. So far, 853 Iranian citizens have lost their lives and 14,991 persons confirmed infected with the virus.

Observers say the U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran are an “act of war” as they hamper Tehran’s efforts to counter the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced the United States’ sanctions as a major obstacle to Iran’s battle against the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Also on Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei commanded Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri to establish a medical base to fight the coronavirus as there is an increased likelihood that the virus be a “biological attack”.

“While commending the services that the Armed Forces have so far provided to the dear people [of Iran], and while emphasizing the need for those services to further expand and continue, it is necessary that these services be organized in the form of a health and treatment base,” the Leader wrote in his edict.

MH/PA

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