Iran’s Rouhani defends virus response regardless of no lockdown
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday defended the response to the brand new coronavirus outbreak by his administration, which has but to impose a lockdown to cease the illness spreading.
The COVID-19 outbreak in sanctions-hit Iran is among the deadliest outdoors China, the place the illness originated.
Rouhani’s authorities says the virus has killed 1,135 folks and contaminated 17,161 others within the month because it first emerged within the Islamic republic.
“Some ask why the government isn’t intervening, but I think we have intervened significantly,” the president stated on Wednesday.
“Great things have been done (including) measures no other country has taken,” he stated in televised remarks after a weekly assembly of his cupboard.
“We will get past these hard days,” Rouhani added, flanked by ministers sporting face masks.
Since it introduced its first two deaths within the holy Shiite metropolis of Qom on February 19, Iran has taken a sequence of steps to include the virus.
However, it has but to impose any lockdowns and the outbreak has unfold to all 31 of the nation’s provinces.
Few officers have instantly commented on why a lockdown has not been imposed.
But Tehran’s mayor has stated the economic system could not have the ability to deal with the price of doing so, particularly whereas it’s beneath crippling US sanctions.
“In a normal situation and a good economy, we could have imposed a lockdown,” Pirouz Hanachi was quoted as saying by Mehr News company.
“But what comes next, like providing necessary goods or compensating for losses across Iran, is not possible, so a complete lockdown cannot be done,” he added.
The United States withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal and commenced reimposing punishing sanctions on Iran in 2018, blocking banking transactions and oil gross sales, amongst different sectors.
To include the virus, Iran has closed faculties and universities till early April and likewise 4 key Shiite pilgrimage websites, together with Fatima Masumeh shrine within the nation’s epicentre, Qom.
It has additionally discouraged journey for the Iranian New Year holidays beginning this week, cancelled the primary weekly Friday prayers and briefly closed parliament.
Rouhani stated his administration had “talked to the people honestly” in regards to the virus outbreak.
Rouhani slammed what he referred to as “lies and propaganda” unfold on-line and stated there have been no “delays” by authorities in saying infections or testing folks.
Official tolls, that are given each 24 hours by the well being ministry, have normally lagged behind experiences by native media and have generally been contradicted by provincial authorities.
Provincial medical universities have at instances reported greater fatalities than formally reported, however these have been disputed as being “severe respiratory illnesses” slightly than instantly brought on by the coronavirus.