Germany, France, Britain to fly medical supplies to Iran

Treatment of Coronavirus victims. Photo credit: The Straits Times

 Germany, France, and Britain say they will be flying urgent medical supplies to Iran on Monday to help it combat the COVID-19 outbreak that has claimed at least 66 lives in the country.

The supplies will include testing kits, protective equipment and gloves, a statement from the French Foreign Ministry said.

The three countries – the European signatories to the 2015 deal on Iran’s nuclear programme – say they will also be providing financial aid of almost 5 million euros (5.6 million dollars) via the World Health Organisation and other UN agencies to combat the outbreak in Iran.

An adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has died after contracting the novel coronavirus, state radio said on Monday.

Mohammad Mirmohammadi, 71, was a member of the Expediency Council that advises Khamenei.

He is the latest in a string of Iranian officials to have died after contracting the virus.

The virus started spreading through Iran last week, and by Monday, 66 people were dead and 1,501 cases were confirmed, Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi said.

Raisi added that 291 people had recovered.

Iran has the most coronavirus cases in the Middle East, the most deaths outside of China – where the virus originated – and is in an ongoing state of economic crisis.

Iran’s parliament has been suspended until further notice amid the outbreak, and universities and schools nationwide have been closed, according to state media.

All public gatherings, including Friday prayers, have been canceled to help curb the spread of the disease, the IRNA state news agency reported. (dpa/NAN)