Tehran contaminated, citizens' behavior to blame, says coronavirus task force head

Firefighters wear protective face masks as they disinfect the streets, ahead of the Iranian New Year Nowruz in Tehran, Iran, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (File photo: Reuters)

All parts of Iran’s capital Tehran have been contaminated with coronavirus due to citizens’ non-compliance, the head of the coronavirus combat taskforce in Tehran Alireza Zali said on Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, 3,036 in Iran have died from coronavirus, and there are 47,593 confirmed cases.

“Unfortunately, due to the negligence of some of the citizens, all parts of the capital have been contaminated with coronavirus,” Zali told state TV.

Read more: Coronavirus: In Iran, 17 regime figures have died

If all citizens had followed the authorities' advice and did not leave their homes, Tehran would not be in its current situation, he added.

Some Iranian activists accuse the regime of using the public as well as US sanctions as scapegoats for its incompetence and culpability in the coronavirus crisis in the country.

Iran is accused of not reacting quickly enough to contain the outbreak.

Read more: Something is rotten in the Islamic Republic: Iran’s sinister coronavirus cover-up

The Shia holy city of Qom, the epicenter of the outbreak, was not quarantined, leading to the spread of the virus to the rest of the country. Iran also only closed Shia shrines in Qom, Mashhad and Tehran almost one month after officially acknowledging the spread of coronavirus to the country. The virus had already spread to most parts of the country by then.

Iranian lawmaker Aziz Akbarian said on Tuesday that the country has not stopped accepting foreign pilgrims to Qom despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: Iran warns of lengthy ‘new way of life’ as coronavirus deaths rise

Authorities in Tehran also organized a funeral procession for senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Asadollahi on March 23, which was attended by hundreds, despite the capital being one of the worst-hit provinces by the coronavirus pandemic in Iran.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:02 - GMT 07:02
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