Iran is one of the countries where coronavirus has been killed the most. Here more than 27 thousand people are infected with corona and more than two thousand people have died. READ MORE
However, the charge is that the actual figures are much more than this and the government is showing the figures by reducing it.
Critics say that the government of Iran has continued to reduce the threat of Corona. In the first announcement on February 19, the government told people not to panic. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accused Iran of “exaggerating the danger to its enemies”.
After a week the figures of infected people and deaths increased, President Hassan Rouhani repeated the words of the Supreme Leader and cautioned against “attempts to create intrigue and fear of enemies of the country”.
He said that this is being done to stop the country and Rouhani appealed to the Iranian people to live a normal life and go to work.
Some time ago, in the government TV programs, it was feared that the coronavirus could be a “bioweapon” made by America. The Supreme Leader also tweeted about the “biological attack”.
But in just 16 days, Kovid-19 had spread to all 31 provinces of Iran. Also, 16 countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar claimed that the virus reached them through Iran.
According to the World Health Organization, in 2016, the population of Iran has recorded 8 crores 2 lakh 77 thousand and it maintains 6.9 per cent (2014) of its GDP for health.
Despite this, Iran is struggling to deal with the threat of Corona and has even turned down the offer of help from America.
The country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says that Iran cannot trust America. He said, “Americans are being accused of being behind this virus. I don’t know how true it is. But who will have a smart mind trust them?” READ MORE
This statement came at a time when, despite official appeals not to travel, the Iranians were going to celebrate the biggest holiday of the year — Persian New Year or Nowruz.
On this occasion, thousands of people go to the Caspian Sea and other parts of the country for a family holiday. A spokesperson of the Ministry of Health had appealed to people not to travel and stay in homes to handle the situation.
Despite this, a large number of people ignored this warning and heavy traffic was seen on the roads as the New Year holiday approached.
Pictures of traffic jams were shared on the main roads of the capital Tehran on social media.
Iran’s President Rouhani ordered the closure of shopping centres and markets across the country for 15 days and only medicines and daily essentials were exempted from it.
The administration has now closed all major religious places including the religious places located in the cities of Kom and Mashhad.
The religious site located in Kom is considered quite sacred among Shia Muslims. Millions of Shia Muslim devotees visit here every year. This area has been the epicentre of the Corona epidemic. The government of Iran was also severely criticized for not closing the religious site here.
Masood Pezeshian, vice speaker and former health minister in Iran’s parliament, said, “The Qum should have been quarantined from day one. This disease is no joke, that is how we will deal with it.”
But despite the closure of the religious place, a large number of people continued to visit Mashhad during the holidays.
The city’s mayor warned of “humanitarian destruction” and criticized the government’s decision not to lock down the city.
However, the government has closed schools, universities and religious sites, and has banned cultural and religious ceremonies. But a complete lockdown has not been done yet.
President Rouhani has announced economic steps to reduce the pressure on families and businesses. This includes steps like health insurance, tax and forcing payment of essential facilities bills.
The government has said that 30 million poor people of Iran will be given cash payment. Other 40 lakh people will be given loans at low-interest rates.
What more did the government need to do?
Critics say that the Iranian government should have taken tough steps long ago to stop the spread of Corona.
However, the country’s foreign minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif says that Iran’s healthcare system has suffered a setback due to US sanctions.
Zarif said that he had weakened Iran’s resources.
At the same time, the US has denied that Iran is facing problems in importing medical supplies due to its sanctions. America says that it has exempted goods of human need.
But Iran says that companies are not able to transact money, because banks do not want to take the risk due to the US ban.
The government of Iran says that now it will talk to the International Monetary Fund for 5 billion dollars of emergency help.
The World Health organization sent diagnostic kits and safety equipment for Iranian health workers. Which included 7.5 tons of medical supplies.
After visiting Iran recently, a WHO team said that there has been some progress in testing and other areas, but more needs to be done.
Like other affected countries, people in Iran can also be seen lined up outside medical shops for things like masks and sanitizers.
Where these things are being found, their prices have increased ten times.
Many claims are being made on social media that the masks were reduced because millions were already donated to China.
There were also reports that the Chinese company bought large quantities of masks from Iran, which has now reduced in the domestic market.
The government of Iran says that it has now banned the export of face masks for the next three months and has ordered other factories to increase production.
Most concern is being raised about a group in Iran. These are thousands of people who were victims of chemical attacks during the eight-year Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. There are many old people among them.
These people survived that chemical attack, but because of that their health has become very weak, many have problems in their lungs. Many who breathes with the help of oxygen masks.
It is feared that these people can easily fall prey to the coronavirus.
Despite being the worst affected by the virus in the region, Iran has survived a lockdown. But Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is now saying that his government is going to take strong steps against the Coronavirus.
According to him, this will include steps like stopping the movement of people.
As part of these efforts, Iran has already temporarily released 85 thousand prisoners and the other 10 thousand people will be forgiven.
Originally published at https://www.mubahisa.in.