Iran launched a campaign on Saturday to motivate a reluctant public to use face masks as the country faces a sharp increase in infections and deaths from the coronavirus.
“In our country, every 33 seconds, one person is infected with the coronavirus, and every 13 minutes, one person dies from it,” he said.
“I desperately - and in a friendly way - plead with people to cooperate in observing medical protocols for their own sake and that of others,” Harirchi said.
Wearing a face covering to avoid spreading the virus is not mandatory in Iran and the guidance is widely flouted.
Harirchi said on television that wearing masks reduced the risk of the spread of the virus by 85 percent.