Iran among top five producers of COVID-19 rapid antigen-detection kits

November 17, 2020 - 17:15

TEHRAN – Iran is one of the top five manufacturers of coronavirus antigen-based rapid detection kits in the world.

Homegrown antibody rapid test, which can detect coronavirus in 15 to 20 minutes, was unveiled on Tuesday in Tehran in the presence of First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri.

Alireza Zali, head of coronavirus control working group in Tehran, said that Iran, along with the United States, China, South Korea, and Britain, has achieved this advanced technology.

This test was performed on approximately 500 patients under the supervision of the Pasteur Institute of Iran and is completely approved clinically, he added.

Noting that this will increase the per capita coronavirus testing in the country, he said that “this kit has gone through all the appropriate research processes and standards with over 85 percent detection power, which is higher than PCR tests.

This kit can be used for outpatients and provides access to people in remote and deprived areas of the country.

Sourena Sattari, vice president for science and technology, told the Tehran Times in September that some of the knowledge-based companies reached a production capacity of more than 200-300 thousand diagnostic kits per day, which surpassed the country’s need for diagnostic kits, and there is a great export potential.

Pointing out that multiplying the production of COVID-19 equipment led to significant measures that led to foreign currency saving for the country, he said “it also helped us cope with problems and not to run out of equipment because no matter how much money we gave, no country had the equipment to sell.”

He also announced that two types of diagnostic kits are now mass-produced by knowledge-based companies, first one is the RT-PCR tests, 8 million of which are being produced per month; while the other is serology-based tests that a total of 400,000 are being manufactured monthly and is expected to reach up to 2 million.

At present, 40 advanced ventilators are manufactured daily in the medical equipment sector, he explained.

Knowledge-based companies can produce any medicine effective in countering coronavirus or approved by the scientific committee within a week to 10 days, he noted.

Mehdi Kashmiri, director for technology and planning at the science ministry, said in July that about 450 knowledge-based companies were active in the country for manufacturing protective equipment and treatment products to fight the coronavirus.

Production of more than one million face masks per day, production of more than 1.5 liters of disinfectants per day, diagnostic kits, non-contact thermometers, protective clothing, ventilator are among the produces manufactured by these companies, he added.

Iranian-made innovative products in the field of diagnosis, screening, and fighting coronavirus were also unveiled to combat the disease, namely, ozone generator, nanotechnology face shields, disinfection gate, and molecular COVID-19 diagnostic kits.

COVID-19 cases, deaths skyrocketing

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Health Ministry spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 13,352 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 788,473. She added that 570,774 patients have so far recovered, but 5,691 still remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, coronavirus daily deaths and new cases hit the record high, as 482 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 42,461, she added.

Lari noted that so far 5,586,141 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country. She said the high-risk “red” zones include provinces of Tehran, Isfahan, Qom, East Azarbaijan, South Khorasan, Semnan, Qazvin, Lorestan, Ardebil, Khuzestan, Kermanshah, Kohgiluyeh-Boyerahmad, Gilan, Bushehr, Zanjan, Ilam, Khorasan Razavi, Mazandaran, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari, Alborz, West Azarbaijan, Markazi, Kerman, North Khorasan, Hamedan, Yazd, and Kordestan.

The provinces of Hormozgan, Fars, and Golestan and Sistan-Baluchestan are also on alert.

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