World, Middle East, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Iran failing in fight against coronavirus: Residents

Country facing shortages of face masks, gloves, residents tell Anadolu Agency

Elaheh Salari   | 11.03.2020
Iran failing in fight against coronavirus: Residents Disinfection works are being carried out by fire brigade crew at streets as a precaution against coronavirus (COVID-19) at Enqelab Street on March 11, 2020 in Tehran, Iran. ( Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency )


Residents in Tehran criticized the government here Wednesday because of inadequate medicine, masks, gloves, and disinfectants to fight the coronavirus.  

Health care worker Maryam Geylani told Anadolu Agency that the outbreak caused face masks and glove shortages.

“Private hospitals do not accept patients. People have to go to a limited number of public hospitals,” she said.

Mahmoud Yakubiyan said the public was not sufficiently informed about how to deal with the virus and blamed the government for the outbreak.

“Our information is limited to what we hear from radio and television,” he said, and the government’s failure to quarantine cities, where the virus first appeared, triggered the crisis.

“The tools used in the fight against the virus entered the black market. We have difficulties in finding masks and disinfectants in the market,” he added.

Amir Mukhtar Turabi, who also lives in Tehran, believes the government is not doing enough to contain the outbreak.

“Many people die every day due to coronavirus in the north of the country,” he said. “The state should do more.”

Turkey, which reported one diagnosed case of the virus known as COVID-19, closed its land borders and suspended air travel to Iran last month.

Iran is the worst-affected country since the outbreak of the virus in China last December -- excluding China, Italy, and South Korea.

Tehran has taken several measures in efforts to contain the virus, including closing all schools and higher education institutions, calling off sporting events and banning government officials from leaving the country.

The death toll from the virus in Iran has risen to 354, according to state television.

Authorities said 63 people died in the last 24 hours while 958 new cases were diagnosed, taking the national tally to 9,000, according to Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.

The virus originated in Wuhan, China and has since spread to more than 100 countries.

The global death toll is nearly 4,300, with more than 118,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak a global pandemic.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz

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