Spokesman: 130 Labs in Iran Testing People Suspected of Coronavirus Infection
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said that the country has extended its laboratorial network to diagnose cases of coronavirus infection.
“Given the extension of the laboratorial network and operation of 130 laboratories, the numbers reported (on coronavirus infections) indicate that we are moving towards the early identification of people infected with coronavirus,” Jahanpour said in an interview with the state TV on Monday.
He added that on the first days of coronavirus outbreak in Iran, only 2 laboratories conducted tests on patients suspected of COVID-19 virus infection.
Earlier today, Jahanpour had announced that 1,683 new coronavirus cases have been diagnosed in the country in the past 24 hours, adding that 45 patients have also died in the last one day.
“1,683 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country since yesterday,” the official said on Monday.
He added that less than 30% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 virus infection have been hospitalized as others have been outpatients. The remaining 70% showed minor symptoms of the disease and had been identified through health ministry’s screening measures, he explained.
Jahanpour added that the number of coronavirus patients in the country has increased to 109,286 people.
He said that 6,685 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, including 45 in the past 24 hours.
Jahanpour, meantime, stated that 87,422 infected people have recovered and been discharged from hospital, expressing concern that 2,703 patients infected with COVID-19 virus are in critical conditions.
He also noted that 601,324 coronavirus diagnosis tests have been carried out in the country so far.
Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki stressed on April 7 effective measures to control coronavirus epidemic, expressing the hope that the disease would be controlled in Iran by late May.
“At present, the country is in the phase of disease management and we should not imagine that we have reached the harness and control phase. Today is the time for full-fledged combat against the virus. God willing, we will control coronavirus by late May. The virus should be controlled in the minimum possible time,” Namaki said, addressing the Iranian legislators in an open session of the parliament in Tehran.
He noted that at least 30% to 50% of hospital beds are still vacant across Iran and nearly 15,000 beds are ready to keep the patients who are recovering from coronavirus disease.
“We have now moved down to tank 6th in terms of deaths,” Namaki said, adding that the country’s situation in treatment of patients will improve in the next few days.
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 284,100 people and infected over 4.19 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. Closure universities have been extended until further notice but schools in certain low-risk areas will open limitedly on May 16.
The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s North, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.
Namaki announced last month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.
Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.
He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.
Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.
He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.
According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached over 90 across the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran's response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.
The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.
The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.