Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on relevant governments and airlines to help with the return of many Iranian nationals stranded abroad amid the deadly global outbreak of the novel coronavirus in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).
“We have citizens stranded abroad with flight cancellations due to the #COVID19 pandemic,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.
He added that Iran’s Foreign Ministry and the Iranian missions abroad are doing their utmost to arrange for the safe return of those citizens.
“We urge relevant govts and airlines to assist them in line with @WHO guidelines,” he said.
Iran is currently battling the world’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus outside China, where it originated.
Head of Iranian Health Ministry’s Public Relations and Information Center Kianoush Jahanpour on Friday confirmed 1,234 new cases of infection, including 17 deaths.
The record-breaking increase in the number of new infections raises the total number of confirmed cases to 4,744 and the overall death toll to 124, he said.
So far, 913 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital, he added.
The virus has so far infected several Iranian officials, and killed a few of them, including Hossein Sheikholeslam, a former Iranian ambassador to Syria, an adviser to Zarif and a deputy foreign minister from 1981 to 1997, who died of the virus at the age of 67 on Thursday.
World health officials have warned that countries are not taking the biological crisis seriously enough, as outbreaks surged across Europe and in the United States, where medical workers sounded the alarm over a “disturbing” lack of hospital preparedness.
Global markets tumbled again over concerns about the impact on the economy. The market downfall takes place as nations have taken more drastic steps to prevent the contagion of a disease that has killed more than 3,300 people and infected nearly 100,000 in about 85 countries.