If the officials get this opportunity to contain the virus they will save more lives and prevent more economic losses, otherwise, they should brace for more consequences.
While physicians are warning that people to take the virus seriously and stay at home, avoid inter-city travels, family visits, and traffic in the streets, President Rouhani just softly advises people to stay at home.
Populism has always proven costly but in this case, may prove too costly. Unfortunately, Rouhani, in another way, is proving another populist like his predecessor Ahmadinejad, who emptied the country of hundreds of billions of dollars gained from oil revenues through his populist economic policies.
In the beginning, officials refused to lock down the cities or provinces in which coronavirus first emerged. The Health Ministry even argued that quarantining cities is outdated, saying it dates back to the early 20th century in Europe.
Now that coronavirus cases are found in every corner of Iran, it is extremely necessary to enforce a strict rule to contain the deadly virus.
In my opinion, Iran is now facing a much more serious problem than China first faced at the beginning. China was mostly grappling with the crisis in Wuhan.
However, officials in Iran did not take the issue seriously. They should had followed the China model, which locked down Hubei province and prevented the virus spread all across the country.
Worse than that is that Iran is facing unprecedented illegal and suffocating sanctions in history at the hands of the U.S. and Donald Trump and his team are so cold-hearted and cruel that are not even ready to lift or even loosen sanctions.
At this critical moment using soft language to encourage citizens to stay at home is like playing with the lives of people.
And now the Norouz holidays are an opportune time. They can serve as a 14-day quarantine time to contain the virus. Failing to miss this opportunity may cause irreparable damages.