Zero red zones in Iran, but COVID battle goes on: Rouhani

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that while there are no red coronavirus zones in the country anymore, the battle to contain the pandemic should continue with utmost cooperation between authorities and people.

Addressing the meeting of the National Coronavirus Combat and Prevention in Tehran, Rouhani said, “I am glad to say that today we do not have any [coronavirus] red zones in Iran; the orange zones have diminished to zero as well; however, we need to keep improving the situation.”

The president expressed gratitude to the nation for their cooperation in the past weeks, which has resulted in a considerable decline in the number of daily infections and fatalities due to respiratory disease.

Rouhani further emphasized, “Victory over the disease is possible, but it may be a little difficult and time-consuming. We will definitely win and we must stand firm and know that victory is certain.”

The president noted that more than 25 million Iranians who have been infected with the coronavirus have overcome the disease, but another 30-35 million people are at risk of contracting it.

Iran tightened its coronavirus-related localized restrictions in the past two months to ward off an outbreak that was killing nearly 500 every day, by enforcing travel restrictions, closing non-essential businesses and placing a nightly curfew in regions hit worst by the virus.

The stringent measures imposed in the past two months seem to have curbed the third wave of infections, as the number of cities on the highest coronavirus alert has dived from 160 to zero during the period.

The fatalities have also dropped to one third compared to those in September.

The Iranian Health Ministry announced 6,021 new cases of the coronavirus on Friday (lowest since mid-October) and 132 deaths (lowest since early September).

Rouhani said the government is exerting every effort to neutralize and eliminate the illegal sanctions imposed by the administration of outgoing US President Donald Trump.

The president referred to the recent remarks by the Iranian Leader, saying, “We are doing all we can to render these sanctions ineffective and eliminate them and everybody must work to this end.”

He lambasted at the US regime for hampering the country’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “We have fought hours for any money that enters the country or any commodity that is exported.”

Iran has been among the countries hit hard by the coronavirus that first showed up in China in late December 2019 before spreading across the globe.

However, illegal US sanctions have hampered the virus fight in Iran.

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran Abdolnasser Hemmati said on Thursday that there were no more obstacles in the way of purchasing coronavirus vaccines despite challenges caused by the US, ten months after the virus emerged in the country.

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