Iran's supreme leader on COVID-19: This is a test for both people and governments
TEHRAN, Iran, April 9
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised the Iranian people, who have accepted the public order during the coronavirus outbreak and said that in the face of this crisis, the orders of National Committee on Combating Coronavirus should be taken seriously.
Khamenei made the remark in a live TV broadcast April 9, Trend reports.
"Today, mankind struggles with poverty, disease, injustice, and wide class divisions. And, mankind witnesses the abuse of science, discoveries and nature by world powers. These have led to mankind’s exhaustion and frustration,” he said.
Speaking of the coronavirus outbreak, Khamenei said this is a 'public infection', a test for the world, both for the people and governments.
He praised Iran for taking the necessary measures to curb the rapid spread of the disease. In particular, he thanked the doctors, nurses, lab specialists, radiologists, healthcare workers.
“In addition, the Armed Forces, used all their constructive power and initiative, to serve the purpose (fighting against the disease),” he said.
The outbreak of the coronavirus began in the Chinese city of Wuhan (an international transport hub), at a fish market in late December 2019. The number of people killed by the disease has surpassed 88,000. Over 1.4 million people have been confirmed as infected. Meanwhile, over 329,000 people have reportedly recovered.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.
Iran is one of the countries heavily affected by the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. The country continues to apply strict measures to contain the further spread. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease. The Islamic Republic only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19.
"The coronavirus issue is a big problem for humanity today, but it is not as big as some of the problems we've faced in the past," Khamenei said.
Pointing to the decisions of the National Committee on Combating Coronavirus on low income classes, he said that the government must implement these decisions as soon as possible.
"But at the same time, people who have the ability to help should be very active,” he said, asking for the country's higher-income classes to support the poor and the weak.