Monday, 09 March, 2020

Senior WHO director ‘impressed’ by Iran’s handling of coronavirus

A senior official at the World Health Organization (WHO) says he has been impressed to see how Iran is fighting the spread of a coronavirus that has infected thousands of the people across the country.

Richard Brennan, WHO’s Director of Emergency Operations, said on Sunday that he was specifically satisfied to see efforts to contain coronavirus in Qom, a city some 120 kilometers to the southwest of the capital Tehran where the outbreak of the disease began less than three weeks ago.

“Very impressed by the dedication and hard work of the doctors and nurses and health workers here in Qom,” said Brennan at a briefing with reporters, adding, “The people of Qom should be very proud of their health workers.”

Brennan said he had personally seen in a hospital in Qom how the patients were receiving “very good care”.

That comes as reports have claimed that Iran, a country currently under a series of harsh economic sanctions by the United States, has been failing to provide proper treatment to people infected with coronavirus.

Iran has been using all its resources to fight coronavirus despite the fact that US sanctions have hampered the government’s access to certain medicines and medical gear.

Brennan said that the Iranian government and local authorities in Qom had done their best to inform the public about the disease and how to prevent its spread.

“We’ve seen good efforts at educating the population,” said the WHO official who has been leading a delegation from the global health body to Iran to monitor the country’s efforts to contain the virus.

Iran said on Sunday that a total of 6,566 people had confirmed positive for coornavirus since the infection was spotted in the country on February 19. A total of 194 patients have died while 2,134 people have been released from hospitals after recovering from the illness.

Authorities have ordered weeks-long closure of schools in Tehran and other places while banning gatherings and religious events across the country.

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