Iran’s supreme leader has asked the country’s military to support the Ministry of Health in fighting the spread of the Coronavirus, amid a sharp increase in the number of infected people.
According to the AP, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on March 3 asked the country’s military to assist the Ministry of Health in fighting the spread of corona virus. Khamenei’s decision came amid Iran’s record of the 77th death, the highest outside of China.
“Anything that helps protect public health and prevent the spread of disease is a good thing, what makes the disease spread is a crime,” Mr. Khamenei said.
Iranian authorities meanwhile said it plans to deploy about 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to join the fight against the corona virus.
According to the announcement of Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi, Iran has recorded 2,336 cases of corona virus, with 835 new cases in the past 24 hours. Seventy-seven people died of the corona virus, making Iran the nation with the highest number of corona virus deaths outside of China.
Many Iranian officials, especially senior officials, including Deputy Health Minister Iraj Haririchi, Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, also tested positive for Covid-19.
Iran has become the center of the Middle East. The first cases in Afghanistan, Georgia, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman … were all returning from Iran.
Health experts estimate that the actual number of Iranian infections is much higher, because the country’s death rate of about 20% is too high. The World Health Organization says the overall death rate is about 2%.