Iran to clear all cities within 24 hrs to contain spread of virus

Tehran, Mar 13 (EFE).- Iran’s Armed Forces will clear the streets of all cities within the next 24 hours in a bid to contain the fast-spreading novel coronavirus, army chief Mohammad Bagheri said Friday.

The measures were announced to “clear the country’s shops, streets and roads of people” in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak that has caused 514 deaths so far.

Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of general staff of the armed forces, said the measure will be carried out “in the next 24 hours” and will be supervised by a newly created commission by order of supreme leader Ali Khamenei.

Bagheri did not go into much detail as to whether restrictions will be imposed on vehicles nor if the measures will mean the closure of all shops, except pharmacies and supermarkets, as has occurred in Italy.

The army chief also said that the health of all citizens will be monitored so as to detect possible cases of coronavirus within a period of “one week to ten days.”

Health checks will be carried out online, over the phone and “if necessary, in person.”

Thousands of clinics in the country have been ordered to get ready to absorb patients with coronavirus and the Ministry of Defense has developed a production line for N95 protective face mask and clothing for health personnel.

In the last 24 hours 1,289 new infections have been confirmed, of which 85 died, the highest number since the outbreak began three weeks ago, according to the Iranian Ministry of Health.

Of the 11,364 infected persons, 3,529 have recovered from Covid-19 and have been discharged from hospitals.

Schools, universities and training centres were all closed three weeks ago, and all sports, cultural and religious events have been put on hold.

In a bid to ensure continuity in education, teachers will be visiting schools and centres on Monday 16 March to plan lessons for homebound students, the Ministry of Education said in a statement.

The measures announced by Bagheri represent a further step and come after the supreme leader ordered the Armed Forces to lead the battle against the new coronavirus. EFE


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