Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on March 20 that the country will overcome the coronavirus crisis with unity, cooperation and efforts of doctors. During a televised speech to mark the Iranian New Year, Rouhani applauded doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers for braving the situation from the frontline.
Rouhani boasted that the hospital bed has doubled in the past six years and the hospital equipment is “better than ever”. The 71-year-old Iranian leader hoped that the new year will be the year of prosperity and will bring change in economic relations with the world. He said that last year Iran was able to be part of a major regional economic pact with Eurasian Economic Union despite all sorts of pressures.
Iran has been poorly hit by the coronavirus with over 18,000 confirmed cases and 1,284 deaths. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has stepped up the support for refugees in Iran during the coronavirus outbreak. UNHCR said in a statement that it has started the distribution of essential items such as soap and disposable paper towels to around 7,500 households living in refugee settlements across Iran.
According to the latest report, over 240k people across the world have been confirmed of coronavirus infection and more than 10,000 people have succumbed to it. Italy has been the worst-hit due to the novel coronavirus as it has overtaken China in death toll with 3,405 deaths. Since China has registered a significant decline in the rate of coronavirus cases, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with Chinese suppliers to export protective gears for health workers.
With economies hit hard due to the virus, the World Bank Group has approved an increased $14 billion package to help companies and countries prevent, detect and respond to the rapid spread of COVID-19. The original response package of $12 billion announced on March 3 included $6 billion in financing by the World Bank to strengthen health systems and another $6 billion by IFC to help provide a lifeline for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.