Envoy voices China’s strong support for Iran’s fight against coronavirus

FNA – Chinese Ambassador to Tehran Chang Hua said on Friday that his country’s first cargo of humanitarian aid has arrived in Iran to help the Islamic Republic’s campaign against the outbreak of coronavirus, renewing Beijing’s support for Tehran.

“China’s first cargo has arrived in Iran and more is to come; be strong Iran,” Chang Hua wrote on his Twitter account today.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Chinese ambassador said, “5,000 kits to detect coronavirus, which are contributed by China’s embassy and Chinese companies in Iran, have been delivered to the Iranian side.”

“Our efforts will continue,” he added.

Speaking on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said the Red Cross Society of China would send its first voluntarily consignment, including 20,000 coronavirus test kits and other medical equipment to fight the virus, to Iran on Friday.

Spokesman of the Iranian Health Ministry Kianoush Jahanpour said on Thursday that the number of coronavirus infected people has increased to 245, adding that 26 patients have died so far.

He had said on Tuesday that over 700,000 sanitation packs, including equipment to prevent coronavirus-infection have been transferred to Qom province, the first place where the COVID 19-infection was diagnosed, and are being distributed among people.

As a preventive measure, Iranian authorities have ordered a week-long closure of educational and cultural institutions across over 10 provinces as of Thursday.

These provinces include Qom, Markazi, Gilan, Ardabil, Kermanshah, Qazvin, Zanjan, Mazandaran, Golestan, Hamadan, Alborz, Semnan, Kordestan and the capital, Tehran.

Spokesman for Tehran’s Department of Education Masoud Saqafi said the decision was made to “prepare schools” which have to be disinfected and sanitized.

Tehran’s Mayor Pirouz Hanachi said Sunday that all the city’s public places, including the metro trains and buses, are being disinfected every night as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.

Head of Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz also said that pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell protective masks and that masks will be distributed among the population via government-run centers free of charge, with the priority given to virus-hit provinces.

Iran’s Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Mansour Qolami called on all university deans to make every effort to maintain a calm atmosphere and adopt effective measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

The death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen to over 3,000 worldwide, with the vast majority of those in mainland China. The total number of global cases stands at over 81,000.

South Korea now has more than 1,000 coronavirus cases nationwide. Europe’s biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 12 people have died and there are over 400 infections, with restrictions imposed on some municipalities.

The coronavirus can cause various illnesses, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as pneumonia. Common signs of the infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and other breathing difficulties.