WHO urged not to remain silent against Fakhrizadeh assassination

December 4, 2020 - 20:11

TEHRAN – Iran has urged the World Health Organization not to remain silent and inactive against the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian scientist whose valuable efforts were noteworthy for the production of the first coronavirus diagnostic kits and vaccine in the country.

In a letter to the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday, Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva, Esmaeil Baghaei-Hamaneh, highlighted the valuable services of this prominent researcher in the field of health, mainly in the production of the first coronavirus diagnostic kits and vaccine in Iran.

He described the brutal assassination as a continuation of the policy of imposing maximum pressure on the Iranian nation, stressing that remaining silent and inactive against this crime is not accepted at all, as it may seem normal and to be repeated all over the world.

Baghaei-Hamaneh referred to the assassination of Fakhrizadeh as a clear example of "belligerent state terrorism" that has no value or credibility for moral and human values and international rules and regulations.

Fakhrizadeh, a senior expert specialized in nuclear technology, was assassinated in a terrorist attack on November 27 in the city of Absard, northeast of the capital Tehran.

Iranian vaccination by Sept. 2021

Mostafa Ghane'ei, an official with the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, said that the domestically produced COVID-19 vaccine will probably be injected into the whole population in the [next Iranian calendar year] month of Mehr (starting September 23, 2021).

Emphasizing that no Iranian vaccine has been yet allowed to enter the human phase so far, he said that “progress is made when the Food and Drug Administration issues a vaccine clinical work permit.”

All vaccines are in the pre-clinical stage and it is hoped that at least 4 vaccines to start phase 3 of the human trial in September 2021, he highlighted.

Now that coronavirus vaccines have been developed in the world and the third phase of clinical trials has passed, the possible side effects are almost certain, and Iran will be aware of the side effects which speeds up the process, he noted, adding, “vaccines produced in Iran are the same as those produced in China, India, the United States, etc.”

Iraj Harirchi, the deputy minister of health, has said that in Iran, 12 groups are making efforts to develop coronavirus vaccine, three of which have passed the animal testing.

Two weeks ago, Namaki expressed hope that the country will introduce the home-grown COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2021).

Homegrown detection kits

Iran is one of the top five manufacturers of coronavirus antigen-based rapid detection kits in the world; as homegrown antibody rapid test, which can detect coronavirus in 15 to 20 minutes, was unveiled in Tehran on November 17.

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.

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