Suspension of Iran-China flights amid coronavirus outbreak inevitable: health min.

Iranian Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki met and held talks with Chinese Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran Cheung Hua on Saturday in Tehran on the ways to fight against coronavirus.

Emphasizing that Iran is on the side of the Chinese government and nation to fight the outbreak of coronavirus, Namaki said, “At the same time temporary restriction on all flights to and from China amid the coronavirus outbreak is inevitable.”

“China is our friend and the long-standing relations between China and Iran will continue in different fields,” he added.

“We are on the side of the Chinese government and nation to fight the outbreak of Coronavirus, but as a trustee of my country's health, I do not know a priority higher than the health of my countrymen,” health minister said.

He noted, “The pathogenicity of the new coronavirus is still unclear, and as the minister of health and a university immunology teacher, I believe that imposing temporary restrictions on all flights to and from China to slow the entry of the virus, limit its spread and reduce its prevalence is inevitable.”

“I am confident that Chinese scientists, experts, and government officials, along with international organizations, will be able to control the disease and China will soon return to its heyday,” he said.

Iranian Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki announced on Friday night that Iran has decided to temporarily stop all flights to and from China amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the decisions made in an emergency meeting on Friday, led by the First Vice President Es’hagh Jahangiri and attended by several Iranian senior officials, all flights to and from China have been halted amid the coronavirus outbreak until further notice.   

Reiterating that no case of coronavirus infection has been so far reported in Iran, the minister said that the decision has been made following WHO's recent warning.

The total number of deaths from a coronavirus epidemic in China had reached 259 by the end of Friday, an increase of 46, state broadcaster CCTV reported Friday, citing numbers from the country’s National Health Commission. There were 2,102 new confirmed infections in China during the day, bringing the cumulative total to 11,791.

No case of the disease has been reported in Iran so far.

News Code 191413

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