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Two Million Iranians Lost Their Jobs In Coronavirus Crisis

A woman wearing a protective face mask and gloves walks past the Imamzadeh Saleh shrine, amid fear of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Tehran, April 2, 2020

The Islamic Republic of Iran Red Crescent Society is set to financially assist two million Iranians who have lost their jobs amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, its acting chief said on Friday, April 3.

Speaking at a news conference, Karim Hemmati said that nearly two million have been identified across the country who have lost their jobs and are not covered by the state benefits or charities.

"Those affected would soon receive 2,000,000 rials each (approximately $12.5 at free market rate)", the chief of Red Crescent said.

According to Hemmati, none of the two million are employed by the state-run departments or covered by the Relief and Welfare Committee.

"The Coronavirus crisis has hit a significant number of vulnerable individuals including daily wage earners and street peddlers. The Red Crescent Society will provide help to these people in the coming days," he promised.

Furthermore, Hemmati admitted that hospitals in Iran are suffering from a lack of ventilators, adding, "While the ministry of Health urgently needs 2,000 ventilators, the charitable donors have promised to purchase 100 ventilators and 52 devices have been purchased so far."

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Islamic Republic government, Ali Rabiei, has warned that due to the economic crisis created by the novel coronavirus outbreak, up to 400,000 might lose their jobs.

Declaring twelve million people are employed at the service sector, Rabiei promised that President Hassan Rouhani's administration would offer support facilities to the people who have lost their jobs.

Moreover, he maintained that Rouhani was highly worried about an economic breakdown, followed by a lengthy recession.

Iran is already in deep recession since 2018, that reached to a 9.5 percent drop in GDP in 2019.

In the meantime, Rabiei said in a note for the government's official news agency (IRNA) that the outcome of the novel coronavirus outbreak could be a decrease in the people's purchasing power and intensified poverty.