Iran on Friday marked its Army Day not with usual parades but with a Covid-19 medical aid march of military vehicles packed with supplies, as the country's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak neared 5,000. This year's parade was unusually small and held at a training ground as the country grapples to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
Iran is one of the worst hit countries in Asia with almost 80,000 people testing positive for coronavirus. Amid this, it was quite surprising to see the country organizing it Army Day. However, the change in the march also came as a pleasant surprise, which was in honor of the thousands dead from the coronavirus infection.
Iran parades medical gear
The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrated its Army Day across the country, canceling regular parades to hold what it called "service parades". The parades were aimed at displaying the country's power in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Friday's parade titled, "Defenders of the Homeland, Helpers of Health", was a low-key affair held at a training centre before a group of commanders. Interestingly, the commanders also sported face masks to underscore the military's role in battling the deadly coronavirus. During the parades, the Iran army displayed their healthcare equipment, including the disinfecting tools and vehicles as well as the mobile hospitals deployed to deliver quality relief and medical services to people infected by the novel virus.
Iran's army putting up a fight
Iran's army has been playing an active role in the country's fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Last month, the country's army set up a 2,000-bed hospital at an exhibition center in Tehran to treat Covid-19 infected patients. The army has also been assisting frontline medical workers. The Iranian armed forces also set up a biodefense headquarter after the outbreak of coronavirus and have offered extensive services to treat the patients.
The idea to carry out alternative military parades was in a bid to prevent any gathering of people in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus and help the medical staff in the battle with Covid-19. The total number of coronavirus cases in Iran rose to 79,494 of which 4,958 have died.
Earlier this week, Iran started lifting restrictions partially. Shops, factories and workshops were allowed to reopen from April across the country. However, Tehran continued to remain under lockdown, which will finally reopen today.