The plan for holding the biological defense war game war unveiled by Army Chief Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi during an extraordinary meeting held on Saturday to coordinate efforts in the battle with the COVID-19.
According to General Mousavi, the war games will be kicked off on Sunday under command of the Army’s Biodefense Base and under supervision of Deputy Chief of Army for Coordination Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari.
The Army’s biodefense drills come in line with a Thursday edict by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, in which he warned the outbreak might be the result of a “biological attack” against the Islamic Republic.
“Since there is some evidence that this incident might be a ‘biological attack’, this measure could be also some form of biological defense drill, which would add to national power and strength [of the country],” the Leader said. As part of efforts to fight the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has in turn opened three field hospitals in northern and southern Iranian provinces.
"Given the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country and people's need to have access to health and medical centers, two hospitals that contain 30-40 beds have started their work in the city of Borazjan [in the southern Bushehr Province] and a 54-bed mobile hospital in [the southern port city of] Bandar Abbas," IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said on Saturday.
He added that another 74-bed mobile hospital has opened in the northern city of Rasht and noted that the hospital's capacity can be increased to 120 beds in order to provide more services to confirmed coronavirus patients. Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health, said Saturday the new coronavirus has claimed 97 lives in the past 24 hours, taking the overall death toll to 611.
Jahanpour added that 1,365 fresh cases have been added to the number of the confirmed infections during the period, bringing the total to 12,729.
More than 4,300 of those with confirmed infections have recovered so far, he added.