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Iran president gives one-week ultimatum for anti-COVID plan overhaul

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi is seen in this photo while chairing a session of National Headquarters for Battling Coronavirus in his office in Tehran on August 7, 2021.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi has set an ultimatum for the government to drastically change its methods of fighting the coronavirus pandemic as the country’s health system struggles under a fifth wave of infections.

Raeisi told members of the high-profile National Headquarters for Battling Coronavirus (NHBC) that Iran has to come up with an extensive plan for mobilizing volunteer forces to fight the rapid spread of the disease.

“The universal plan for overhaul in methods of fighting the coroanvirus will be compiled in a special committee using the experiences of the past one and half years of the country,” said the president, adding that the plan will be open for debate in NHBC’s next Saturday meeting.

Raeisi said governorate offices and medical universities in provincial capitals are expected to immediately submit their proposals for the new plan. 

He said the plan would include clear action guidelines on hygiene protocols, vaccine production and delivery as well as on government support for health staff and businesses affected by the virus.

Iran has seen a major surge in the number of coronavirus deaths and infections in recent days as the Delta variant of the virus continues to spread across the country.

Health ministry figures published on Saturday put the daily death toll from the virus at 387 from a total caseload of 26,439 recorded over the past 24 hours. The figures were down against those reported on Friday although authorities warned that infections and deaths would continue to rise.

On vaccinations that have covered 11.7 million Iranians until Saturday, Raeisi vowed that his administration will continue to support domestic vaccine production although he said that no efforts will be spared to receive abundant supplies from abroad.


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