President urges people to stay at home

Iran will definitely defeat coronavirus: Rouhani

March 16, 2020 - 19:22

TEHRAN - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that his country's vast medical capacities coupled with national endeavor will certainly root out the COVID-19, urging people to avoid unnecessary trips in the upcoming New Year holidays.  

“I advise people to stay home and avoid unnecessary trips in Norouz holidays,” Rouhani said in a session of National Headquarters for Fighting Coronavirus via video conference.

"I appreciate the Armed Forces that have never left the people alone in hard days," the president added, expressing his thanks to 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. 

"From tomorrow (Tuesday), all travelers' fever will be tested at proposed checkpoints at the exit and entrance checkpoints of the cities and towns. If somebody has symptoms of the infection he must be sent home or must be quarantined in designated centers," Rouhani said, adding people should obey the Health Ministry's instructions. 

The president also congratulated the entire Iranians on the eve of the new Persian year, which starts March 20, and wished them a healthy and prosperous year.    

Rouhani announced on Saturday that the Health Ministry 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.

On Saturday, Rouhani also agreed with a proposal by the health minister to set up road checkpoints in 11 provinces to control the virus outbreak.

However, the president said, “People should be informed about any development in advance.”

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

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.

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 decision came after Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Armed Forces commander-in-chief, ordered the establishment of a “health and treatment headquarters” to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in the country.

In his order 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.” 

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

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 Monday that totally 14,991 nationals have been confirmed infected by the virus, out of which 853 have lost their lives.

According to the Health Ministry, the health condition of 4,996 patients have improved.

MJ/PA

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