By Marina Villén
Tehran, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- Iran Mall, one of the world’s largest malls, has come to the aid of the Iranian population by opening Covid-19 medical centers in its facilities
The owner of the mall on the outskirts of Tehran, Iranian multimillionaire Ali Ansari, had envisioned a modern architectural space influenced by the Persian culture.
Five years ago, Iran was looking at the future with optimism after the signing of the nuclear deal. These dreams, however, were partly spoiled by the United States when re-imposed sanctions in 2018.
Subsequently, several international firms dropped out of the project, which has yet to be completed.
The coronavirus pandemic is yet another challenge, as the novel virus claimed the lives of 2,300 people and infected 32,000 others in Iran.
In an attempt to contain the virus, most of the stores have had to be shut down.
Ansari, however, decided to open a medical center help of his family’s charity foundation. With a capacity of up to 3,000 beds, it received its first patients earlier this week.
Iran Mall was closed to public mid-March, days before the Iranian government ordered all the commercial centers to be shut down.
It was then that Ansari decided to set up the hospital in a space usually used as a convention center.
The labor and the acquisition of material started five days after the decision was made, Morteza Ghoroghi, the mall’s Director of Public Relations told Efe.
The first phase of the project was concluded within a week, he added.
Ansari’s family is “very active in the charity matters” and provided money and the mall to help fight the pandemic, Ghoroghi said.
Built on an area of 1.3 million square meters in western Tehran, the mall features around 700 shops, a large supermarket, 200 restaurants and coffee shops, a dozen1,800-seated movie theaters and a five-star hotel.
Besides the luxury and its large size, the mall has special details such as a bazaar inspired by the history of Tabriz or Isfahan; a garden designed in Persian tradition and a hall of mirrors like those of the palaces of the Qajar dynasty.
These areas have been abandoned, with only security guards and cleaners allowed there.
By contrast, at the conventions’ center, doctors and nurses wearing protective suits attend patients moved from hospitals once they got over the critical phase.
“To prevent the spread and break the infection chain, it is necessary for patients to remain from the fifth to the fourteenth day in an isolated place,” according to Husein Farzaneh, representative of the Iran’s University of Medical Sciences for the centers.
This organization supervises the Iran Mall hospital, already equipped with 250 beds, which will reach 1,000 in this first phase.
To prevent the contamination of the center, a special drain and air condition systems have been installed at the hospital.