Iran’s government reported that deaths from the novel coronavirus inside the country had exceeded more than 4,100 this week. A spokesman for Iran’s Ministry of Health said the total number of people infected with COVID-19 had reached 66,220, while 32,309 people had recovered.
President Hassan Rouhani said some businesses would remain closed until further notice, after officials announced shutdown regulations would be relaxed from April 11. Rouhani also asked the International Monetary Fund for a $5 billion loan which he said was needed to battle the epidemic. An IMF official said the Fund was in communication with Iran, so that it could better understand the country’s needs.
Iranians in the country described staff shortages in hospitals and a lack of medical equipment to treat COVID-19 patients. Others explained that a spike in cases seen in Kashan, the central province of Isfahan, was because of people going outside to socialise and celebrate Persian New Year.
Calls to a telephone advice line for married couples have tripled since the outbreak began. Iran’s Welfare Organization has received 4,000 calls a day since Iran’s stay at home order went into effect.
Flight recorders belonging to Ukraine Airlines Flight PS752, which was mistakenly shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iran killing all 176 people on board, have still not been handed over to Ukraine. Iran’s Minister of Road and Urban Development said the outbreak was to blame, as investigations were halted to stop the spread of the disease.
And Las Vegas has opened an art installation by Iranian-American artist and refugee Nanda Sharif-pour, which has been designed to inspire kindness and unity during the pandemic.
Our thoughts are with everyone in Iran, and around the world, affected by the outbreak.