Iran tells people to stop using MONEY in last-ditch bid to stop coronavirus
The country’s health minister has discouraged the use of paper money in an attempt to halt the deadly outbreak in the country. The country has recently announced there are 4,747 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, with 124 deaths. The actual count could be much higher, with Tehran facing accusations they are covering up the true extent of the outbreak in the country.
Today, Iran’s health minister Saeed Namaki also said schools and universities will remain closed until the end of the month.
He also said checkpoints would be installed to limit trade between major cities.
He said: “People should not consider this as an opportunity to go traveling.
“They should stay home and take our warnings seriously.”
At the news conference televised to the Islamic Republic, Mr Namaki also warned citizens to remain in their cars when filling up at petrol stations.
He said petrol station attendants would be required to fill vehicles to avoid the spread of the virus.
A WHO spokesman told the Telegraph paper money was a method of transmission for covid-19.
He said: “We know that money changes hands frequently and can pick up all sorts of bacteria and viruses.
“We would advise people to wash their hands after handling banknotes, and avoid touching their face.”
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Outside of China, Iran has, alongside Italy, the highest number of infected citizens in the world from the virus.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, however, has told people not to panic, saying: “This calamity is not that big of a deal, there have been bigger ones in the past.
“I do not want to underestimate this issue, of course, but let us not overestimate it either.”
The Ayatollah encouraged citizens to cling to their faith in the time of hardship, adding: “Prayer can solve many problems.
“Whatever helps public health and prevents the spread of disease is good and what helps it to spread is sin.”
However, multiple sources have warned the number of dead could be higher than reported, and have argued the country is suppressing information.
Recently, citing hospital sources, BBC Persian said the death toll could stand at at least 210 people from the deadly contagion.
A number of high profile Iranians have tested positive for the disease, with eight percent of Iran’s parliament now infected.
Two senior Iranian politicians have died from the disease, both of whom were top advisers to members of government.
But the country has also refused help from the United States.
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, told lawmakers he had made offers to Iran to assist them with the crisis.
Iran, however, responded saying it would “neither count on such help nor are we ready to accept verbal help”.
World Health Organisation officials have also expressed concern over the rapid spread of the disease in Iran.
Dr Michael Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme, has suggested this could mean the virus is more widespread than originally believed.
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