(Bloomberg) -- Iran said it would after all accept help from international medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres to fight the coronavirus, a day after officials blocked the group’s work in the country.
“We thank Doctors Without Borders for their help,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei said, according to IRNA news service, using the organization’s other name. “Their donated equipment will be used by the Ministry of Health in the areas where it is required,” he said, adding Iran was grateful for all offers of help. He made no mention of the nine personnel the group had sent to the Islamic Republic.
On Tuesday, an official at the health ministry said the presence of an MSF team -- including intensive care specialists and a 50-bed inflatable hospital -- wasn’t needed because Iran had enough capacity and field hospitals to treat sick patients.
Iran’s dealing with one of the worst outbreaks of the pathogen in the world. So far 2,077 people have died and more than 27,000 people are infected. U.S. sanctions have severely weakened the country’s ability to manage the crisis.
The charity expressed its “incomprehension” at the initial decision, which was taken after MSF had arrived at the site in Esfahan province for the planned temporary hospital.
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