Iran seeks Russia’s assistance in fight against coronavirus, ambassador says

TASS – Iran expects that all friendly nations, including Russia, will provide humanitarian assistance in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Iran’s Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali told reporters on Tuesday.

“We have discussed this. We welcome humanitarian assistance of all countries, including from friendly nations and our allies,” the ambassador said, answering a question whether Iran had requested Russia’s assistance in combating the coronavirus outbreak.

Iran’s Ministry of Health reported the first novel coronavirus cases in the town of Qom on February 19. According to official data, a total of 978 people have contracted the coronavirus in Iran and at least 54 people have died.

A pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial center with a population of 12 million, in late December. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with “multiple foci.”

In China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, more than 2,900 people have died, 80,000 have been infected and another 47,200 have recovered. Besides China, major coronavirus outbreaks have been reported in Italy and South Korea. The cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in more than 70 countries, including Russia.