Gov't backing forerunners of health with all its might/ National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus decisions made after discussions at specialised committees/ Today not a time for political war

President stated that the decisions at the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus are made after discussions at specialised committees, adding, "To date, we have not made any decision without it being discussed at specialised committees".

Sun 29 - March 2020 - 11:37

Speaking on Sunday at cabinet session, President Hassan Rouhani said:

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

I would like to congratulate the birthday of the flag bearer of Karbala, Qamar Bani Hashim (AS), and Veteran's Day to our dear veterans all over our country and I wish you seize this spiritual opportunity of celebrating the birthday of Imam Sajjad (AS) to pay more attention to God and spirituality, and to honour all the servants of the country well.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the dear and honourable people who endured these days and the instructions given by the country's health authorities, as well as the group that did all they could to provide for people's lives and needs.

First, in our country, the first principle in the current conditions is people's health; we have to thank and support the health sector and all soldiers of this frontline, like doctors, nurses and medical staff; the government will support them with all its might; their needs, equipment, whatever needs to be provided from inside and outside of the country; we support the health sector 100%.

Yesterday, we had a great videoconference meeting with about 30 top specialists and doctors in different fields of infectious diseases, viruses, and other medical fields related to this new disease and coronavirus and we had good discussions. Thankfully, their opinions are very close.

In the questions I asked these dear ones, they all agreed that this was a surprise to the world, meaning that no one in the world, no scientific and medical authority years ago, would have expected such an invasive contagious disease that could spread to the whole world in a short time and affect everyone.

Some experts said at yesterday's meeting that it was similar to 140 years ago, but we did not have such a contagious disease 140 years ago that was so universal and so contagious that it could affect all aspects of society from politics and economy to social relations, and it was the first time in more than a century that we are dealing with such a thing.

When I asked all of them where we are with regard to coronavirus in Iran and whether we have passed the peak of the disease, their answer was that in some provinces yes, we have passed the peak, but in some provinces we still cannot speak confidently; some said that we should wait for the end of the Nowruz holidays and then judge about it.

But, what was a very important thing that everyone agreed and I want to tell the dear people of our country is that we cannot say, for example, a week or 10 days later, there would be no such virus in the world or in Iran.

The virus that has come into the society may be here a year or two; but the society needs to be able to deal with this virus, which will become weaker, and the majority of the population becomes stronger against the virus and the bodies become stronger to endure it.

One doctor gave me an example, saying it was like the flu that is there, going and coming, rising and falling, and coming again. So we have to prepare ourselves to live with such a virus until a definite cure or a vaccine is found, none of which has happened yet.

After starting our daily activities, it doesn't mean that we should put all those health protocols aside. We have to continue this new lifestyle for a while, and maybe even in some areas the disease can give us a chance to do a part of our life electronically, and this is in the interest of our society.

We may change our relationships with people in offices, community services, and even distribution centres that supply the necessary goods, so there will be changes in our lifestyle that may last for some time.

But here I would like to emphasise to the dear people of the country that we have not made any decisions to date at the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus unless we have discussed them in the specialized committees and the experts have identified the best way at that time.

They told us that holy places should be closed for New Year's Eve, and we listened; they said Friday prayers should stop, we listened to everything the experts said and followed them.

We can almost say that we started with unanimous decisions - it wasn't like 20% agreeing and 80% disagreeing, but we have always tried to come up with a single decision.

But our dear people must know that besides health, which is the first principle for us today, production is also a principle; we cannot shut down production in the country; we cannot shut down the production and distribution of food and sanitation, or our shops and stores; We cannot close the public needs of people, including water, electricity, gas and transportation. This is not possible.

That is, the management of the society is based on the idea that health, production, and security are the key to us; all the armed forces, the border guards, the police, and everybody are working.

Another point I would like to say is that now is not the time for gathering teams and waging a political war; it is not about political war, nor party, nor ethnicity, nor national; but it is a public global issue.

Please let the great achievements that were made because of this suffering be permanent. We have found a valuable social capital; it is for everyone's benefit. The government trusting the people, and people trusting the government and getting closer to each other, makes things easier.

My final point is that this morning, Dr Nemaki, the Minister of Health, compared Iran with other countries that are suffering from the disease today, and Iran's rating was acceptable.

We hope that by the end of this process we will achieve a favourable rating; our people and doctors have always made us proud; God willing, this will be the case at this time; We are under pressure and sanctions, and while we are under this pressure, we have been able to resist well and run the country.

We know our people will cooperate with us; we know our doctors are more powerful than ever and we know that our manufacturing and service units across the country are in hard times, and we will help them and the forerunners of health with all our might.

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