Army chief lauds Defense Ministry for coronavirus fight

April 15, 2020 - 22:16

TEHRAN — Army Chief Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi has lauded the Defense Ministry for its efforts in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

“I express my gratitude for the invaluable efforts you and your colleagues at the Defense Ministry,” General Mousavi said in a message to Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Wednesday, Mehr reported.

The efforts, according to Mousavi, included backing the country’s health system and supporting the Armed Forces in producing medical supplies among others.

He also praised Defense Ministry experts for producing a new generation of test kits that can detect the Covid-19.

Last month, the Defense Ministry unveiled the test kits, saying the kits can detect the coronavirus in three hours with 98 percent accuracy.

According to General Amiri of the Defense Ministry, the homegrown test kits were endorsed by the Health Ministry.

Amiri said this is the second generation of test kits produced by the ministry's Industries Organization. 

The first generation had been produced almost one month earlier.

The Defense Ministry started mass production of face masks, disinfectants, and protective clothes from the early days that the coronavirus disease was detected in Iran. It also unveiled advanced thermal cameras used as a screening tool in crowded places.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that Iran has made significant progress in fighting the coronavirus outbreak in spite of the United States’ sanctions.

“Despite US sanctions, Iran has made significant progress in fighting the pandemic, thanks to its human & scientific resources, and friends abroad,” Zarif tweeted.

“#Covid19 was opportunity for US to kick its addiction to sanctions. Instead, it will now live in infamy in the memory of our people,” he added.

Last week, Zarif ruled out what he called charity from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Iran is rich in human & natural resources. We don't need charity from @realDonaldTrump —who's forced to buy ventilators from sources he's sanctioned,” he said via Twitter.

Zarif, however, emphasized that “What we want is for him to STOP preventing Iran from selling oil & other products, buying its needs & making & receiving payments.”

Iran was initially among the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But Western countries soon overtook Iran due to the virus’s exponential growth in the West, as opposed to its linear growth in Iran.

However, the United States’ illegal sanctions – which were put in place after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal – have been described as one of the greatest obstacles impeding Iran’s full containment of the deadly disease.

In line with his “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran, Trump has introduced a total ban on Iran’s oil export, the country’s main source of income. The oil embargo was intended to choke off the Iranian economy.

MH/PA

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