“People’s mental health is being targeted by unfair attacks of Western, Hebrew, and Arabic media to harm their physical health,” Shamkhani wrote on his twitter page on Thursday.
“The mission of the nation’s enemies is to boost the effectiveness of the coronavirus by weakening the community resilience. The big lie of secrecy is the keyword of striking at Iranians’ mental health,” he added.
His remarks came after some foreign media outlets raised allegations that the Iranian Health Ministry does not release real figures about the coronavirus patients and deaths. Since the outbreak of the disease, the Health Ministry officials have every day updated the number of infected people and the tolls.
The World Health Organization’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Sunday that the organization has not noticed any problem with Iran's statistics on coronavirus outbreak.
“There are reports in the media, but here is the World Health Organization which is a technical organization and needs to investigate the facts; we don't repeat what the reporters say, we have our own mechanism, and we haven't seen faults in the statistics,” he said.
The number of patients firmly diagnosed with coronavirus infection in Iran has reached 3,513, health ministry announced on Thursday, raising the number of deaths to 107.
It added that 739 coronavirus patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals across the country.
As a preventive measure, Iranian authorities have ordered closure of educational and cultural institutions across the country and the gyms and sports events by the end of winter.
Reports from different cities and towns of Iran indicate strenuous efforts by the officials to help the coronavirus patients and prevent an epidemic.
Globally, more than 95,480 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 with over 3,280 deaths so far, the vast majority of them in China where the virus originated late last year.
The coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East, Europe, US and other parts of the world, while parts of China begin to lower their emergency response level as the number of new cases reported there continues to slow.
As the US death toll hit 11 Wednesday, both California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti declared states of emergency and announced six additional cases of the deadly coronavirus that has health officials around the world scrambling for answers. More than 150 cases have been confirmed across the US.
Tehran’s municipality announced that all the city’s public places, including the metro trains and buses, are being disinfected at the end of the line every hour as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.
Head of Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz also said that pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell protective masks and that masks will be distributed among the population via government-run centers free of charge, with the priority given to virus-hit provinces.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed Iran’s high capabilities to prevent an epidemic of novel coronavirus infection.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting last week to brief a WHO representative and the foreign ambassadors residing in Tehran on the latest preventive and therapeutic measures taken by the country to contain COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is called.
In comments at the meeting, the WHO representative said Iran has the necessary fundamental capabilities to tackle the epidemic, and that Tehran’s performance has been as “successful and exemplary” in the region and the world.
The Iranian Health Ministry officials, who were also present at the meeting, reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to the international health regulations and standards.
Iran enjoys all the technical and specialized capabilities needed to battle the coronavirus, they stressed.