Iran’s FM, Swedish, South African counterparts discuss COVID-19 outbreak

Tasnim – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Swedish and South African counterparts, Ann Linde and Naledi Pandor, in separate phone conversations discussed the latest efforts to contain the new coronavirus outbreak in the world.

In one of the phone calls on Tuesday night, Pandor voiced South Africa’s sympathy with Iran over the recent deaths of coronavirus patients and said her country is ready to cooperate with the Islamic Republic in the campaign against the infectious disease.

Zarif, for his part, expressed his gratitude to the African country for its support for Iran and stressed the need to counter the US government’s illegal and cruel sanctions against the Iranian people.

In the other telephone conversation, Zarif and his Swedish counterpart exchanged views about a range of issues, including ways to boost bilateral relations between Tehran and Stockholm as well as the latest regional and international developments.

Zarif and Linde also discussed the US sanctions hampering Iran’s efforts to combat the outbreak of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19.

Medical staffs in all 31 provinces of Iran have been working tirelessly over the past weeks to contain the novel coronavirus.

First detected in Wuhan city in central China in December, the virus has spread to more than 140 countries.

More than 182,000 have been infected globally, according to the WHO. Of those, about 80,000 have recovered.

The spokesman for the Iranian Health Ministry said on Tuesday that since the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, 988 people have lost their lives and 5,389 others have completely recovered from the infectious disease.

Kianoush Jahanpour said that since Monday, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country had increased by 1,178, reaching 16,169.