Iranians have to prepare themselves for long-term fight against COVID-19: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Jun. 20 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that people of Iran have to prepare themselves for long-term fight against COVID-19 as there is no exact time for the end of the coronavirus.

Speaking at a meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus on Saturday, Rouhani said, "The end of coronavirus is not yet clear and that we must prepare ourselves for a long-term fight against the virus."

"It is the responsibility of all of us, and our four-month experience shows that with strict observance of instructions put forward by the Ministry of Health, our economic, educational, cultural and spiritual activities in the country can be carried out freely," he added.

In the meeting, which was held through videoconference with governor-generals from throughout the country taking part, Rouhani said that more than four months have passed since coronavirus began in the country, adding, "In this period, people showed very good cooperation and the country's health care staff has made many sacrifices and efforts."

"According to scientists and health professionals, we can't predict a specific time for the end of the disease," he said, adding, “The behaviour of this virus is changing and it does not have a fixed behaviour, and based on what researchers say, the virus won't go away on its own, so we have to prepare ourselves for a long-term fight against it."

Rouhani noted that the virus could not be eradicated in a short period of time and that we could not make people completely immune to it, saying, "We ourselves are involved in the transmission of this disease, so it is the responsibility of everyone to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus and to cut its chain."

Emphasising the need to pay attention to physical distancing and avoiding unnecessary gatherings, the President said, "Observance of personal hygiene and the use of masks can play a very important role in cutting the chain of outbreaks, and one of the topics we discussed in today's meeting was the obligatory use of masks in some places."

Rouhani said, "In the fifth month after fighting coronavirus started, based on the experience we have gained in recent months, we can state that various activities, including economic, cultural and spiritual activities, can continue and open according to the instructions, because it is not possible to close down work and activities, but the protocols must be fully observed."

Pointing out that we are facing the first wave of the disease in the country to date, the President said, "In some provinces we have encountered and passed through the peak of the disease, and in some provinces the peak of the disease has already begun, which we need to overcome by following the instructions."

He continued, "In today's meeting, good discussions were held about the psychological pressure transferred to the society and the worries that this virus has created among the people; Many people may have mental illnesses, and I urge all scientists and specialists in the social sciences, religion, psychology, culture, the arts, and the media, especially the IRIB and the Internet, to prepared people for the situation."

Pointing out that at the beginning of the outbreak in the country, with the cooperation and good efforts of the Ministry of Health, the Armed Forces and the IRIB, and the support of the people, we were able to get through the difficult days, the President said, "We started the fight against coronavirus well, but we need perseverance to maintain the achievements."

"As President, I call on all Iranians to continue fighting for the sake of dear Iran and to protect the achievements of the fight against coronavirus patiently and without any worries,” said Rouhani.

Coronavirus did not only affect the health sector, but also all sectors, he said, adding, "The disease has affected various areas, including tourism, exports and imports, international relations, education and even medical sciences."

Rouhani stated, "Thanks to the sacrifice of our own health front and the cooperation of all branches and people, we have been successful in the fight against coronavirus to this day, and we have an acceptable record."

The President said, "Public cooperation, support and empathy, along with the implementation of a strong and robust health, communication and knowledge-based infrastructure over the past seven years, have helped us fight coronavirus."

He continued, "Also, the country's communication infrastructure, including the organisation of the Internet, expansion of bandwidth and smart mobile, has had a great impact on this process, and various sectors such as education and sales through strong and solid infrastructure was created in these 7 years."

The President described the organisation of knowledge-based companies as one of the other infrastructures created, effective in this regard and stated, "At present, 5,000 knowledge-based companies are active and helping in various fields."

Rouhani said, "If it were not for the government's efforts in the agricultural sector in recent years, 6 million tonnes of wheat would still have to be bought this year, while we could not provide it despite the spread of coronavirus in the world."

Appreciating the efforts of the country's economic sector these days, the President said, "Despite the current situation in the country and when exports have been closed in recent months, great efforts have been made to provide the currency needed to import essential goods and there is no problem in this regard."

Stating that the continuation of reopening and economic activity in the process of fighting coronavirus depends on our general behaviour, he said, "The basis of designating red status to be cities, not entire province."

Rouhani pointed out that there was a discussion about the need to use masks in some spaces and areas in this meeting, and said, "It was decided that after the necessary reviews that are going to be made at the next meetings of the task force, this decision should be made, in addition to the fact that the implementation of this plan should also be conditional on the availability of inexpensive mask to the people in abundance."

The President added, "According to the decision of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus, the academic year of universities will begin on September 7, 2020, in two parts: online and face-to-face."

He pointed out, "The school year of schools will also start on September 5, but education has been allowed in accordance with the province, region and their needs, and students will be present in schools every other day, and Thursdays will not be holiday."


News Code 159968


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