President Hassan Rouhani pointed to the need to hold mourning ceremonies across the country during Muharram while also adhering to health protocols to control the outbreak.
“Mourning in this month is important for us and Iran can become a model for all Shias and Muslims,” Rouhani said on Saturday while speaking at a session of Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters.
He described holding such ceremonies amid the pandemic as a ‘test’ for the country. “We should implement all hygienic principles. We should hold mourning ceremonies with passion and perform in a manner that we would not see the outbreak’s peak after this month. That is the time when everyone will be proud of those figures and statistics.”
According to the latest figures on Friday, more than 354,000 COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in the country while the death toll has passed the 20,000 mark.
Iran has announced that Muharram mourning ceremonies, which commemorate the martyrdom of the third Shia Imam, will be held but with strict health protocols in place such as holding ceremonies outdoors, adhering to social distancing guidelines, wearing masks, regularly disinfecting the areas and etc.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said that the dimensions of the second wave of coronavirus were much wider and heavier than the first wave, according to the President’s press service. “In the first wave, we were unfamiliar with the dangers of the virus and in the second wave, it was much more aggressive.”
“The efforts of the medical staff and all managers, officials, governor generals and medical universities and those who work in this field should be appreciated.”
“We must work together with the same spirit and empathy until we achieve ultimate success and victory”.
In another part of his speech, Rouhani pointed out that it was very difficult to decide whether or not to hold the national exam and said, “Some people suggested that it be postponed completely for a year, but without a doubt, this decision would waste a year of our young people’s life.”
“The national exam was held well because the great efforts of the country’s officials, along with the participants and their families, and this is a great work that was done with cooperation and empathy.”
Rouhani stressed the need for people to pay attention to health protocols and the need to adopt a new lifestyle, given that not all aspects of coronavirus are obvious.
The President added, “Many efforts have been made to find a vaccine for this disease, but it is still not possible to speak with certainty about any vaccine, and research in this field has not reached any point, in a way that the World Health Organization has announced in recent days that we are two years away from harnessing the virus”.
“Of course, in our country, companies and various institutions are trying to find a vaccine for this virus, but until we get the vaccine, we must get used to a new lifestyle and continue to follow physical distance and health instructions for the coming months.”
Rouhani pointed out, “The heads of various departments, businesses and occupations should emphasize to their employees that following health protocols is not just for one month.”
“Some are asking if there will be a third coronavirus wave,” the president said, adding, “Undoubtedly, it is us who play a role in the formation of the third wave, and if health protocols are not followed, we will definitely have the third wave, so it is very important that we observe all the health protocols.”
He pointed to the importance of e-government and e-health. “It is very important that people do not leave their homes by taking advantage of e-government and solve their problems from inside the house and through cyberspace.”