Friday, 14 August, 2020

Iran speeds up anti-virus battle, doubles production of disinfectants, hygiene items

Iran says the production of disinfectants and hygienic products has at least doubled over the past two weeks as the country steps up the battle against a new coronavirus outbreak.

Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Rahmani said Tuesday that necessary permissions had been issued by the government for relevant firms to increase the production of detergents, disinfectants and hygienic material.

The production of such material has been increased twice since early February, he added.

‘Hoarders of medical supplies may face execution’

Also on Tuesday, Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, the Iranian Judiciary’s spokesman, said that several cases have been opened and many people arrested regarding the smuggling of medical supplies, protective masks and gloves.

In addition, 11 cases have been filed with the court over the past week concerning the hoarding of medical equipment.

If the court rules that those cases are instances of corruption on earth, the convicts will face the death penalty under Iran’s law; otherwise, they will be given prison terms of up to 20 years, the official said.

Esmaili further assured that the prisoners found guilty of security offenses are being kept in far better conditions than other detainees.

He also rejected claims by the family of British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliff that she had contracted coronavirus while serving a five-year jail term in Tehran’s Evin prison for spying.

Esmaili said that she was in full health and that she had called her family and told them about her health condition.

The coronavirus — named COVID-19 — first emerged in China late last year and is now spreading in Europe and across the Middle East, sparking fears of a global pandemic.

Since December 2019, over 91,300 people have been infected in several countries, with 3,120 deaths mostly in China.

According to the figures released by the Health Ministry, 66 Iranians have died and 1501 have been infected by coronavirus.

Most of the infections have been reported in the cities of Tehran, Rasht and Qom, where the virus was first found in the country.

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