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Tehran accuses Washington of creating “panic” over coronavirus

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Iran on Wednesday accused the United States, its sworn enemy, of sowing “panic” over the new Coronavirus, which has left 19 deaths locally, and is the second largest death toll after China, amid discovering new cases worldwide.

Iranian Health Ministry spokesman Kianosh Jahanpur said the situation was “improving”, but he nonetheless called on the Iranians to limit their movements.

The spokesman announced the registration of four deaths among 44 new infections discovered in the past 24 hours.

The virus has infected about 140 people, including the deputy health minister in Iran, which most of its neighbors have tightened mobility and quarantine procedures.

A number of schools, universities and cultural or sports centers have been closed and many sporting events have been postponed to enable health teams to clear buildings and public transportation.

– “panic” –

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said during a government meeting, the day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on Tehran to “tell the truth” about the virus, we must not allow America to add to Corona a virus called panic.

“The Americans themselves have difficulties facing Corona. 16,000 people have died (in the United States) of influenza, but they are not talking about their deaths,” he added.

In mid-February, the US authorities expanded Corona’s newest tests to include people with flu symptoms. Monitoring and health protection centers announced at the time that 14,000 flu deaths were reported in the 2019-2020 season.

Amid a growing atmosphere of tension between Tehran and Washington, Pompeo said in a press conference in Washington on Tuesday that “the Iranian authorities have concealed vital details about the epidemic in the country.”

A day earlier, a Qom deputy said that the virus had left 50 people dead.

Deputy Minister of Health, Iraj Hariri, denied these statements on Monday, and promised to resign if these figures were confirmed, before he announced on Tuesday that he had been infected.

Government spokesman Ali Rapelli, on his part, is awaiting the results of his checks.

Since the announcement on February 19 of the first two cases in Qom, the holy Shiite city in central Iran, that receives visitors from all over the world, the government has promised to be more transparent after accusing it of minimizing the outcome of the epidemic on its soil and mismanaging the spread of infection.

On Wednesday, Rouhani stressed the progress made by Iran in dealing with the epidemic and the “decline in the number of patients (hospitals) and progress in treating” the injured.

– “A bit worrisome.”

According to the latest toll from the Ministry of Health, more than half of the 31 provinces have been infected. Nine new cases were discovered in Qom, four in Tehran, nine in two generations, three in Khuzestan, and two in Sistan-Baluchestan, Faris, Kahkiloyeh, and Boyer Ahmed.

One case was discovered in the governorates of Markazi, Khoramanshah, Ardabil, Mazandaran, Lorestan, Samnan and Hormozgan.

However, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health appeared optimistic about the situation in Qom, the epidemic center in Iran.

“Every day, at least 10 percent of those hospitalized or suspected cases are allowed to be discharged in good health,” he said.

But in Gilan, the Caspian border province, which is very popular with domestic tourists, especially Tehran residents, the “situation is a bit worrying” as it is the second in the number of unexplained injuries, and many of them traveled to other provinces.

The Iranian authorities called on their citizens to limit their movements, but did not announce any quarantine measures, considering that this method is outdated and ineffective.

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