06 March 2020 - 09:51
News ID: 449450
A
The Iranian foreign ministry voiced regret over the Bahraini government’s irresponsible behaviour in ignoring the situation of hundreds of its nationals in Iran, calling for Manama’s rapid action to repatriate them amid the coronavirus threat in the country.

RNA - Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Wednesday that nearly 1,300 Bahraini citizens were forced to have a long and unwanted stay in Iran due to the ignorance of Bahrain government about handling of their situation.

He pointed to the measures, follow-ups, and coordination made by the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for returning foreign citizens to their respective countries within the framework of precautionary and preventive measures over the outbreak of coronavirus, and said, “Although many regional countries have embarked on repatriating their nationals to their countries with the cooperation of officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is a matter of regret to say that Bahraini government, despite readiness of the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has not taken any action to return their nationals.”

Mousavi pointed to the irresponsible behavior of Bahraini government towards its citizens, and said, “Presently, about 1,300 Bahraini citizens, who have come to Iran for pilgrimage and tourism purposes, have been forced to reside in Iran for a long and unwanted stay due to the ignorance of Bahraini government towards handling their situation.”

He underscored commitment of the Islamic Republic of Iran to address the situation of Bahraini citizens within the humanitarian framework, and added, “The Islamic Republic of Iran announces its readiness to establish any cooperation with Bahrain government with the aim of repatriation of Bahraini citizens to their country.”

Any consequences for the delay in their return shall be borne by the Bahrain government, Mousavi warned.

Globally, more than 95,480 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with over 3,280 deaths so far, the vast majority of them in China where the virus originated late last year.

The coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East, Europe, US and other parts of the world, while parts of China begin to lower their emergency response level as the number of new cases reported there continues to slow.

As the US death toll hit 11 Wednesday, both California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared states of emergency and announced six additional cases of the deadly coronavirus that has health officials around the world scrambling for answers. More than 150 cases have been confirmed across the US. 

The number of patients firmly diagnosed with coronavirus infection in Iran has reached 2,922, health ministry announced on Wednesday, raising the number of deaths to 92.

It added that 552 coronavirus patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals across the country.

Reports from different cities and towns of Iran indicate strenuous efforts by the officials to help the coronavirus patients and prevent an epidemic.

As a preventive measure, Iranian authorities have ordered closure of educational and cultural institutions as well as gyms across the country as of weekend.

Tehran’s municipality announced that all the city’s public places, including the metro trains and buses, are being disinfected at the end of the line every hour as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.

Head of Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz also said that pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell protective masks and that masks will be distributed among the population via government-run centers free of charge, with the priority given to virus-hit provinces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed Iran’s high capabilities to prevent an epidemic of novel coronavirus infection.

According to Fars News Agency, Iran’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting last week to brief a WHO representative and the foreign ambassadors residing in Tehran on the latest preventive and therapeutic measures taken by the country to contain COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is called.

In comments at the meeting, the WHO representative said Iran has the necessary fundamental capabilities to tackle the epidemic, and that Tehran’s performance has been as “successful and exemplary” in the region and the world.

The Iranian Health Ministry officials, who were also present at the meeting, reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to the international health regulations and standards.

Iran enjoys all the technical and specialized capabilities needed to battle the coronavirus, they stressed.

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