Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday expressed his gratitude to Iran’s nursing staff for their “tremendous job” during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Leader made the remarks in a live televised address on the occasion of the National Nurses Day that falls on the birth anniversary of on Hazrat Zeynab (PBUH), granddaughter of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Ayatollah Khamenei felicitated nurses on the occasion, while also condoling with the nursing community, which has lost many of its frontline personnel in the fight against COVID-19, Press TV reported.
“Today, nurses are dearer and more honorable in the eyes of the nation than ever before,” he noted.
“Nurses are the angels of mercy for patients. This is a true definition, not an exaggeration by any means,” the Leader said.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that as part of their profession, nurses tend to both the patient's body and soul, which is a remarkable role.
He considered such endeavor toward the alleviation of a human being’s pain as “one of the most beautiful spectacles in life.”
The nurses have been consistently present at hospitals and medical centers during the yearlong outbreak, putting their own lives at risk, the Leader remarked. “To be fair, our nursing community performed an enormous task during this period.”
Ayatollah Khamenei said prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak, people would not attach as much importance to the nursing profession as they do now. “However, this is not enough,” he said, advising the authorities to revisit the significance they ascribe to the venerable profession.
President Hassan Rouhani, in a ceremony commemorating the occasion, hailed Iran’s medics for doing a “great service” at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19.
Rouhani described the spread of the novel coronavirus as a “divine test” for the Iranian nation and medical staff who were able to pass it.
“In the last 10 months, the social status of nurses was elevated and people saw that they did not escape from the battlefield on the day of danger,” he said.
The president noted that the pandemic came as Iran was fighting an “economic war” waged by the United States through its “maximum pressure” campaign.
The virus that swept the country soon after its emergence in central China has so far infected more than 1.1 million Iranians, including over 53,500 who have lost their lives.
The sheer extent of the outbreak has overstretched Iran’s medical staff.
The already uphill battle has been compounded by sweeping sanctions imposed by the US, which prevent the entry of much-needed medicine and other medical supplies into the country, including the much-needed coronavirus vaccines.
However, Iran has successfully mobilized all of its resources – with assistance from the military sector – and has managed to reign in the viral outbreak to a reasonable extent.
The national anti-virus drive has seen the enforcement of large-scale health protocols and restrictions throughout the country.