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Armed Forces will start clearing streets nationwide to fight coronavirus: Commander

Iran’s security forces will begin to empty shops, streets and roads nationwide within 24 hours as part of measures to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, says a top military commander.

“Over the next one week to 10 days, the entire Iranian nation will be monitored once through cyberspace, by phone and, if necessary, in person, and those suspected of the disease will be identified,” said Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri on Friday, Press TV reported.

“Our law enforcement and security committees along with the Interior Ministry and provincial governors will be clearing shops, streets and roads in a national decision. This work will be organized within the next 24 hours,” he added.

He noted that the suspected cases would be then transferred to medical centers and said the Iranian Armed Forces would establish up to 1,000 treatment units to provide clinical examinations for coronavirus patients and would do their utmost to treat them.

The top commander called on the people to pay heed to all recommendations and requests by the Health Ministry to help defeat the virus as soon as possible, otherwise, he said, the containment would take more time.

In a decree on Thursday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei lauded the services rendered to the people so far by the Armed Forces in their nationwide campaign to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He instructed Major-General Baqeri that in addition to establishing such treatment facilities as field hospitals, infirmaries and so on, “you must focus on prevention of further spread of this disease through all necessary means.”

The Leader’s decree emphasizing full cooperation of the armed forces with the health ministry and the presidency, said: “Because of the probability of this epidemic being a biological attack, what is also required is some form of biological defense drill, to enhance the national power and strength [of the country].”

Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said on Friday that the new coronavirus has claimed another 85 lives, bringing to 514 the overall number of deaths in Iran.

“Sadly, 85 people infected with the COVID-19 disease have died in the past 24 hours,” Jahanpour said in a televised news conference.