The coronavirus outbreak in Iran is "not that big of a deal,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday, urging citizens to pray against the virus.
“This calamity is not that big of a deal, and that there have been bigger ones in the past,” Khamenei was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency on Tuesday.
Khamenei called on Iranians to pray against the virus “as prayer can solve many problems.”
“I do not want to underestimate this issue of course, but let us not overestimate it either,” he said.
“[The coronavirus outbreak] will affect our country for a while and then will be over,” added Khamenei.
“This calamity is not that big of a deal in our view. There have been bigger ones in the past and we have had such cases in this country,” #Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says on the #coronavirus outbreak as Tehran says its death toll jumps to 77.https://t.co/YQkpQeaA5P pic.twitter.com/2LcGreZAKw— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) March 3, 2020
As of Tuesday, 77 in the country have died from the virus and there are 2,336 confirmed cases.
Khamenei also urged citizens to follow the health authorities’ instructions.
Khamenei also praised Iranian authorities for their honesty and transparency.
“Our officials have been keeping the public up to date with honesty and transparency since day one,” he said. “However, some countries where this disease has been more widespread, have been concealing facts, but of course we ask God to heal their patients too."