The COVID-19 outbreak in Iran should not become a “weapon for the enemies” to shut down the activities and production inside the country, Rouhani said at a weekly cabinet session on Wednesday.
He said that the US and other enemies have been attempting over the past 21 months to halt economic activities in Iran and make the people suffer through sanctions and propaganda campaigns.
The president further took a swipe at the US for downplaying Iran’s measures in the battle against coronavirus, saying the Americans had better be concerned about thousands of people who have died of flu in their own country.
The president also quashed rumors that a number of cities in Iran are being quarantined amid the outbreak of the coronavirus, stressing that the administration has not made any decision about keeping people in quarantine in any place.
He explained that decisions about the closure of public places and other restrictions come only within the purview of the National Headquarters of the Fight against Coronavirus.
The responsibility to announce the latest statistics, offer medical recommendations and publicize the centers for the diagnosis and treatment of the coronavirus lies only with the national headquarters as well, he stated.
“To overcome this challenge, we may need one, two or three weeks,” Rouhani said, adding that the virus of “fear, anxiety, doubt and mistrust” is more dangerous than coronavirus.
According to Iran’s Health Ministry, the number of people who have died from the coronavirus in the country has risen to 19 and the total number of confirmed cases to 139.