Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has touted the country’s response to COVID-19 outbreak as more efficient than western countries.
Addressing a cabinet session on Wednesday, Rouhani said that his government has managed to meet the needs of the people, especially for food and sanitary items, in the wake of the outbreak, according to the media report.
The Iranian leader further added, “You can compare Iran to other countries … Compare Tehran to London, Berlin, and Paris … See for yourselves what is going on there. Shop racks have been emptied and people got into a fight over a roll of toilet paper,”
“The people there are concerned about foodstuff and their hospitals say they have run out of beds,” he said, adding that Iran has met the public requirements as the government has done all in its power to deal with the crisis.
As of Wednesday, Iran announced that the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country rose to 17,361, of whom 1,135 have died and 5,710 have recovered.
On Monday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sent two aid planes carrying medical supplies to Iran which has been severely hit by the coronavirus crisis, despite a fallout between the two countries.
The move came a day after a call between the UAE Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his Iranian counterpart Mohammed Jawad Zarif.
Earlier on Monday, President Rouhani said that the deadly novel coronavirus outbreak in the country had peaked.
“According to the statistics provided, we have passed the peak stage of the coronavirus,” Rouhani said during a national working group meeting to combat the pandemic.
On Monday, the fourth batch of 53 Indians returned to India from Iran, taking the total number of people evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Islamic nation to 389.
Last month, Iran’s deputy health minister said that he has contracted the coronavirus and placed himself in isolation, a day after appearing feverish at a press conference in which he downplayed its spread in the shrine city of Qom and said mass quarantines were unnecessary.
Earlier, authorities have placed about 56 million people in hard-hit central Hubei under an unprecedented lockdown. Other cities far from the epicentre have restricted the movements of residents, while Beijing ordered people arriving in the capital to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine.
Iran has been the worst-hit country in the Middle East by the outbreak of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus.
The novel Coronavirus outbreak has caused alarm as it has crossed global fatalities in the 2002-03 SARS epidemic.