Over 6,000 being tested for COVID-19 in Iran per day

March 15, 2020 - 19:31

TEHRAN – More than 6,000 people are being tested for COVID-19 in Iran per day at about 50 state-run laboratories across the country, the Pasteur Institute of Iran’s director Alireza Biglari has said.

“More than 220,000 test kits have so far been donated to Iran, of which around 80,000 have been used,” IRNA quoted Biglari as saying on Saturday.

Some 70 specialized coronavirus labs have been authorized in the country, 50 of which are operating and the rest will come on stream over the next few days, he explained.

The World Health Organization has commended Iran foe setting up the labs over a short period of three weeks, he added.

A team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO), GOARN partners, RobertKoch Institute in Berlin and the Chinese Center for Disease Control concluded a technical support mission on COVID-19 to Iran on March 10, 2020.

“After five days of extensive meetings and field visits, we see that Iran’s strategies and priorities to control COVID-19 are evolving in the right direction, a comprehensive coordinated approach is being applied, and solid work is being done especially in the areas of case management, laboratories, and risk communications. We are also impressed by the engagement from other sectors of the community. 

Health officials and health workers are clearly working very hard, and are committed to controlling this outbreak and saving lives. The government is leveraging the strong national health system and disaster management capacities to respond to the outbreak,” says Dr Richard Brennan, WHO Regional Emergency Director for the Eastern Mediterranean Region and mission team lead.

“The fight against coronavirus in the Islamic Republic of Iran is ongoing, and everybody in the country is engaged in this response. The right and timely public health measures implemented on adequate scale will make a difference.”

Progress has been made in scaling up the number of laboratories that are now able to test for COVID-19 – over 30 laboratories across the country now have the capacity and at least 20 more will be added. 

So far, WHO has provided lab testing kits enough to test at least 110,000 people and seven tons of protective equipment and supplies. Contact tracing is expanding and new sanitariums have opened in Tehran and Qom to care for those who are recovering from coronavirus, so that overburdened hospitals can be decongested.

MG

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