Streets are buzzing In Tehran as social distancing rules are watered down. April 21, 2020. (ISNA)

May 16, 2020

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for spreading awareness and information about the symptoms and stages of the novel coronavirus, as part of preparing citizens to live with the pandemic.

He defended the decision to open mosques during the last days of the Holy Month of Ramadan, expressing optimism over the continued cooperation between people and officials in observing all health protocols on “Laylat al-Qadr.”

“I have repeatedly emphasized that the cohesion and unity of officials at various levels and across the country and the support of people are the most important factors in the success of managing and controlling the deadly coronavirus,” ISNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

He once again compared between the situation in Iran and developed countries in terms of managing the virus, referring to the division among officials in developed countries that have always considered management as a model and criteria for development.

“We have seen confused officials and duplication of decisions in some of these countries,” he stressed.

Rouhani’s statements were made three months after the virus’s outbreak in Iran.

The government and its critics have been on an ongoing debate during this period over its performance in managing the crisis, the latest of which was between members of Tehran’s municipal council and the government. Among the critics are MPs, provincial officials and medical organizations.

At the beginning, Rouhani refused to respond to the demands to impose quarantine in areas in which the virus first appeared before spreading throughout the country.

Later on, the government faced difficulties in making statistics on the number of those infected.

Meanwhile, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour warned that reports of the infection’s downward path in some provinces don’t mean the return to normal life conditions.

In a press conference broadcast by the state television, Jahanpour said the southwestern province of Ahvaz is still on high alert.

“We are in situation similar to previous days in most provinces, save for Khuzestan (Ahvaz), which is still in a critical condition, and it seems that North Khorasan may be critical as well,” Jahanpour added.

“If this trend continues, North Khorasan will require more serious measures, too,” he stressed.

The spokesman announced 71 new deaths, bringing the official toll to 6,854, adding that 1,808 new cases of COVID-19 infection had been detected, raising the total to 114,533.

Of those hospitalized, 90,539 had recovered, while 2,758 were in critical condition.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.