Iran, Turkey Discuss Violence against Indian Muslims, Coronavirus

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani in a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Mustafa Şentop discussed the latest regional and international developments, including campaign against coronavirus epidemic.

The two sides discussed bilateral relations and regional issues, as well as the situation of Muslims in India.

Returning to the Astana process and helping the Syrian people was another topic of the phone conversation between the Iranian and Turkish parliament speakers.

Both sides emphasized the need for a political solution to the problem of Idlib and to avoid the escalation of war and deterioration of the situation in the Syrian city.

The latest measures taken by Iran to fight against coronavirus in the country were also discussed during the phone conversation.

Mustafa Şentop announced his country’s readiness to help Iran combat the disease and supply the necessary equipment.

Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on Friday that the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has killed 17 more of his compatriots in the past 24 hours, bringing the total death toll to 124 out of the total number of 4,747 infection cases so far.

Jahanpour declared at noon that 1,234 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since yesterday that is associated with the more activeness of the country's laboratory system.

Speaking at a news conference, Jahanpour said that there are 1,234 new cases of coronavirus infections in the country, increasing the total number to 4,747.

The vast majority of cases are in Tehran, with 1,413 infected, he said.

Jahanpour went on to say that 124 people have died and 913 people have recovered since the outbreak of the virus in Iran.

Iran's Health Ministry Spokesman also warned people to stop traveling to touristic cities, including Isfahan, Gilan, Mazandaran and Southern provinces of Iran.

Meantime, Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced that a new national mobilization plan will be implemented across the country as of Thursday to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.

Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.

He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.

Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.

He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.

Namaki said that the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 22, and will increase to 40 by the end of the next week.

As a preventive measure, Iranian authorities have ordered closure of educational and cultural institutions across the country and the gyms and sports events by the end of the winter.

Reports from different cities and towns of Iran indicate strenuous efforts by the officials to help the coronavirus patients and prevent an epidemic.

Globally, more than 95,480 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with over 3,280 deaths so far, the vast majority of them in China where the virus originated late last year.

The coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East, Europe, US and other parts of the world, while parts of China begin to lower their emergency response level as the number of new cases reported there continues to slow.

As the US death toll hit 11 Wednesday, both California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared states of emergency and announced six additional cases of the deadly coronavirus that has health officials around the world scrambling for answers. More than 150 cases have been confirmed across the US.

Tehran’s municipality announced that all the city’s public places, including the metro trains and buses, are being disinfected at the end of the line every hour as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.

Head of Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz also said that pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell protective masks and that masks will be distributed among the population via government-run centers free of charge, with the priority given to virus-hit provinces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed Iran’s high capabilities to prevent an epidemic of novel coronavirus infection.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting last week to brief a WHO representative and the foreign ambassadors residing in Tehran on the latest preventive and therapeutic measures taken by the country to contain COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is called.

In comments at the meeting, the WHO representative said Iran has the necessary fundamental capabilities to tackle the epidemic, and that Tehran’s performance has been as “successful and exemplary” in the region and the world.

The Iranian Health Ministry officials, who were also present at the meeting, reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to the international health regulations and standards.

Iran enjoys all the technical and specialized capabilities needed to battle the coronavirus, they stressed.

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