Tehran, March 19 (IANS) Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has touted Iran’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, Xinhua reported.
“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,” Rouhani was quoted by state TV as saying.
“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.
Following the outbreak, Iran has increased its capacity of producing sanitary and medical products for the general public and the medical personnel, while also meeting part of the demands through imports, he said.
Rouhani noted that Iran would not face shortage of hospital beds, and that public and private medical sectors as well as the armed forces will continue to serve the people.
Iran has been the worst-hit country in the Middle East by the outbreak of COVID-19, or novel coronavirus.
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.