Iran's President Hassan Rouhani informed of his administration's decisions for paying loans to 4 million poor Iranian households that have been affected as coronavirus pandemic persists.
"The conditions for receiving the loan will be announced soon," Rouhani said.
"A €16.5 billion relief package has also been allocated to businesses damaged by the pandemic disease," he continued.
The president said small and medium-sized businesses as well as other businesses with less than 50 workers who have been shut down during the disease and refused to fire their workers will receive the relief aid.
"Some €1.1 billion has been allocated to the country’s unemployment insurance fund to be paid to those who have lost their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak." Rouhani added.
Earlier, the president had said that capabilities of Iranian experts and researchers in combating coronavirus is a source of pride for the nation.
Rouhani made the remarks on Sunday on the sidelines of his visit to the Exhibition on ‘Domestic Achievements and Capabilities’ jointly held by the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade, Ministry of Defense, and the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology in the field of combatting and preventing the spread of coronavirus.
The exhibition had put on display some of the "Iran-Made" products and equipment in the field of combating coronavirus, including ventilator, which is used as the most important device in ICU rooms for lung and COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, head of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) Saeed Sarkar said that the country’s knowledge-based companies have bolstered their capacity to produce N95 masks to 250,000 on a daily basis.
“The capacity to produce masks in Iran has four-folded since the start of coronavirus epidemic and more measures are underway to increase it,” Sarkar said on Monday.
He noted that the Iranian knowledge-based companies have managed to produce 20,000 N95 masks on the first days of the coronavirus epidemic, adding, “The number has today increased to 250,000 masks.”
Sarkar said that his country has now no problem in supplying the medical staff with N95 masks, saying that more efforts are needed to provide such equipment to the people who work in crowded areas, including banks, subways, etc.
An industrial group in Tabriz has succeeded in manufacturing a smart disinfectant tunnel to contribute to the nationwide combat against COVID-19 epidemic.
Managing Director of Tabriz Tools Manufacturing Industrial Group, Nasser Farajzadeh said on Sunday that the tunnel has been designed and made as part of efforts to counter spread of coronavirus.
Noting that the cost of building the tunnel is very low compared to its foreign versions, he said that "first smart disinfectant tunnel was installed at the main entrance door of the factory on a trial basis."
"If the tunnel yields positive results, it will be mass-produced and installed in different areas of Tabriz and other busy places across the country," he said, noting that "it operates automatically and can be used in hospitals and offices."
Also, head of Coronavirus Management Center in Tehran Alireza Zali said that knowledge-based firms are producing disinfectants and hand sanitizers according to the highest standards.
Alireza Zali made the remarks on Sunday in a ceremony held in Khwarizmi Technology Development Company to offer 150,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to hospitals with the logistic support of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
He said that five knowledge-based companies are directly working on products related to fighting COVID-19 outbreak, praising the complex for inaugurating production lines in the shortest time possible.
Zali went on to say that another section will have a key role in producing N95 and N99 face masks which enjoy the highest quality regarding protection against the virus.
Moreover, head of Basij (Volunteer) forces of professions and Bazaar in Khuzestan province Delavar Askari said that every day 20,000 masks are produced in towns and 3,000 others are made in Ahvaz by this branch of Basij force.
Delavar Askari Said, "40 inspection teams were organized for prevention of overcharge and hoarding of commodities and closing all salons and places of gathering."
"Preparation and distribution of 2000 packages of disinfectants and 3000 parcels of foodstuff among poor families were among the measures taken by the Basij of professions and bazaar in Khuzestan," he added.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi hailed China's bravery, commitment, professionalism and leadership in battling coronavirus, saying that Iran has always been thankful to it under the hard situation.
"The Gvt. & ppl. of China lead the way in suppressing coronavirus & generously aiding countries across the world. The Chinese bravery, dedication & professionalism in COVID19 containment deserve acknowledgment. Iran has always been thankful to China in these trying times. #StrongerTogether," Abbas Mousavi twitted on Sunday.
He added that the Chinese government and people are providing generous donations to other countries around the world.
Moreover, Iran's Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour blasted the US sanctions against Iran and appreciated Beijing for standing alongside Tehran, while the supply of medicine and medical equipment to Iran is still under Washington's ban.
"The Chinese government and people, in the form of NGOs, had the highest support for us in the domain of medical equipment", Kianoush Jahanpour said, "and this is the reality."
Referring to the fatality rate of COVID-19 epidemic in the country, the official stressed that the proportion of the infected to the recoveries is 21% in the world, while it is 14% in Iran.
"The figure is 33% in France, 5% in Germany and 29% in Belgium," he said, but meantime underlined that the epidemic is not under control in Iran. "We are in the management phase of the disease," he added.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 69,000 people and infected nearly 1.3 million others globally.
As for Iran, the Iranian health ministry announced on Monday that 2,274 new cases of infection to COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country, adding that 3,739 patients have died so far.
“According to definite diagnostic standards, a sum of 2,274 new cases of infection to COVID-19 virus have been identified in Iran during the past 24 hours, increasing the number of infections to 60, 500,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.
He added that fortunately, 24,236 patients infected with COVID-19 virus have also recovered and been discharged from hospital.
Jahanpour said that 136 coronavirus patients have passed away during the past 24 hours, noting that the death toll has increased to 3,739 so far.
The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.
As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closure of schools and universities has been extended until early April.
The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s North, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced earlier this month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.
Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.
He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.
Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.
He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.
According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 90 across the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran's response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.
The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.
The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.