Official: Iran Can Conduct over 30,000 Coronavirus Diagnostic Tests Per Day

TEHRAN:Director-General of Health Ministry’s Public Health Laboratories Siamak Samiyee said that Iran is capable of doing over 30,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests on a daily basis.

“There over 180 labs volunteer to offer services out of which 70 are private ones, some 80 to 90 belong to the Health Ministry and the rest run by armed forces and Science Ministry and others, conducting PCR tests,” Samiyee said.

He pointed out that 170 labs have been given licenses after their equipment and immunity to conduct the tests were proven by Pasture Institute’s medical research center and started their activities under medical universities’ supervision.

Samiyee referred to two methods for the diagnostic tests one of which was Molecular detection which is too expensive, requiring skilled staff.

The other method is the serology test which helps to estimate the rate of infections in the society and can be done within 1 to 3 months, he said.

Samiyee pointed out that all the diagnostic kits are made in Iran and after their quality has been proven, are distributed to the country’s labs, Siamak Samiei noted.

He also stressed that all the labs’ staff are obliged to be equipped with ‘Personal Protective Equipment’ (PPE).

The Ministry of Health is currently reviewing serological testing for the value and its applications, as well as examining the state of Iran’s provinces over time when exposed to the virus.

The Iranian health ministry announced on Sunday that 2,186 new coronavirus cases have been identified in the country during the past 24 hours, adding that 194 patients have passed away since yesterday.

“2,186 new patients infected with COVID-19 have been identified in the country during the past 24 hours and 1,499 patients have been hospitalized,” Iranian Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said, adding, “The total number of the COVID-19 patients reached 257,303.”

“Unfortunately, 194 patients have lost their lives in the past 24 hours, increasing the number of the dead to 12,829,” Sadat Lari added.

She expressed pleasure that 219,993 patients infected with coronavirus have recovered or been discharged from hospitals.

The spokeswoman also expressed concern that 3,359 coronavirus patients are in critical conditions, adding that 1,972,207 diagnostic tests have been conducted across the country.

“Khuzestan, West Azarbaijan, Khorasan Razavi and Mazandaran provinces are in red condition,” she warned, and noted that Tehran, Fars, Bushehr, Golestan, Alborz, Kerman, Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad, East Azarbaijan and Hormozgan provinces are in the status of alert.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last month that over 1,000 medical centers in the country have received necessary equipment to conduct tests on people suspected of infection to coronavirus, and added that Iran ranks first in the Muslim world in scientific achievements.

“Based on a report [by the health ministry], 1,200 centers across the country are ready to take samples and tests from people and 17,500 nursing and health homes are also prepared to provide hygiene and treatment services to people,” Rouhani said, addressing a meeting of the national coronavirus campaign headquarters in Tehran.

Also, earlier this month, he said that the country will increase the number of its hospital beds to 8,000 by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19).

“We will add 8,000 hospital beds by the yearend,” Rouhani said.

He added that 1,500 hospital beds for special cases have also been added to the capacity of the country’s medical system since the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, noting that 2 drug production lines are also added every month to the country’s pharmaceutical capacity.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 567,700 people and infected over 12.8 million others globally.

The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and most universities have been extended until further notice.

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