Iran asks International Monetary Fund for 5-bln-USD loan to combat COVID-19

Iran is the country worst affected by the coronavirus in the Middle East with more than 10,000 people infected and at least 429 deaths

Iran is the country worst affected by the coronavirus in the Middle East with more than 10,000 people infected and at least 429 deaths

He stressed that the global community and the IMF's response to Iran's request would be a good litmus test for their claims about support to control the coronavirus and relieve the pains of the affected people.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on the Washington-based body to allow the Islamic Republic to access the facility "immediately" and "stand on the right side of history & act responsibly", according to a tweet.

IMF's managing director, Kristalina Georgieva, announced on March 4 that the worldwide body was planning to allocate $50 billion to help address the coronavirus global crisis.

Hemmati said that the Central Bank is doing everything possible to support the citizens and solve their problems.

The Central Bank of Iran has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $5 billion emergency funding to fight a coronavirus pandemic as the number of infections keeps growing in the country. "So, these are imported cases of COVID-19", he said. The death toll stands at 429, with 75 deaths in the past day.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Iran is one of the deadliest outside China, where the disease originated.

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As Iran's clerical rulers struggle to contain the coronavirus outbreak, Tehran has blamed the United States and its "maximum pressure" policy for restricting Iran's ability to respond effectively to the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic earlier this week, as the virus continues to spread worldwide.

At least seven officials and lawmakers, including an adviser to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, have died from the virus.

A third Lebanese man died from the coronavirus, state-run National News Agency said Thursday.

Currently, no staff of the Fund in Ghana has been infected with the coronavirus, Joynews reports. Schools and universities have already been suspended. The country has over 70 confirmed cases of the new virus. "We are trying to mobilise more support for Iran", WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, adding that the country needed more supplies.

Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, announced a jump in cases from 21 to 45 late Wednesday, among them 12 Egyptians under quarantine in Mecca.

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