Watch: Iran uses water cannons to disinfect streets amid coronavirus outbreak
Iran is using police water cannons loaded with chemical spray to disinfect streets in Tehran as a protective measure against coronavirus, semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported on Sunday.
These are the same units that were used during demonstrations to disburse protesters, according to Twitter users.
“Special Forces Units of Iran’s Islamic Regime Police, which played a key role in suppression of #RecentProtests used their water cannon equipped trucks to combat #Coronavirus,” said Twitter user Babak Taghvaee in a tweet.
Today, Special Forces Units of #Iran's Islamic Regime Police which played key role in suppression of #RecentProtests used their water cannon equipped trucks to combat #CoronaVirus/#COVID2019 in #Tehran.As a result of the reckless use of the water cannons, civilians got injured pic.twitter.com/hpZNmMukh6— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) March 1, 2020
The vehicles are equipped with disinfectants and “can cover every corner of the city,” according to the agency.
Watch: Here is Tehran, #Iran capital. Water cannon is used to disinfect roads and cars at Iconic Enghelab Square. A banner fixed on the truck reads “#Coronavirus crackdown operation”. #irancoronavirus official death toll is 54 so far and is expected to rise. pic.twitter.com/PJYaeGClVT— Habib Abdolhossein (@HAbdolhossein) March 1, 2020
There are some chemical disinfectants that can kill the new coronavirus including bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, these have “little or no impact” on the virus if they are put directly on the skin and can be “dangerous.”
Iran coronavirus deaths, infections highest in the region
The nationwide coronavirus death toll in Iran was 54 as of Sunday, according to the health ministry, and the number of confirmed cases jumped to 978, making these numbers the highest in the Middle East.
Several neighboring countries including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait have banned travel to and from Iran as a precautionary measure against the spread of the new virus.
Iranian lawmaker Mohammad Ali Ramazani Dastak also died in disputed circumstances on Saturday, as officials claimed he die of “flu” but journalists suggested he was another victim of coronavirus.