ICRC praises Iran’s effort against coronavirus

December 20, 2020 - 22:7

TEHRAN – Daniel Munoz-Rojas, the deputy representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Tehran, said he was impressed by the domestic manufacturing of oxygen concentrators for COVID-19 patients in Iran.

“This capacity does not exist in other countries in the region. Given that we are still in crisis, Iran should use this capacity to meet its domestic needs, but perhaps in the future it can help countries like Syria and Yemen,” he highlighted.

He made the remarks on Sunday at a ceremony for providing 400 portable oxygen concentrators manufactured with the financial assistance of the ICRC.

ICRC allocated a total of 60 billion rials (around $1.4 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to help produce this equipment.

“This is the second phase of the ICRC assistance to the Iranian Red Crescent Society  (IRCS), Rojas said, expressing pleasure that the third phase of financial aid and other personal protection equipment is also on the way.

Earlier in November, the International Committee of the Red Cross has provided 250,000 Swiss francs to the IRCS for buying oxygen concentrators for patients with COVID-19.

In April, the International Committee of the Red Cross donated 500,000 Swiss francs to the Iranian Red Crescent Society to provide personal protective equipment for special patients as well as food items for the vulnerable.           

“The ICRC is a valuable partner of the Red Crescent Society of Iran and we have a strong and broad partnership in various fields,” said Mansoureh Bagheri, IRCS deputy for international affairs and humanitarian law, expressing appreciation for their support in the fight against COVD-19.

In response to the outbreak, the two organizations expanded their collaborations in the distribution of personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers, and educational brochures on COVID-19 disease for migrants on the border provinces of the country.

Earlier in May, Barbara Rizzoli, head of the ICRC delegation in Tehran, said the actions taken by the Iranian Red Crescent Society to battle the COVID-19 outbreak were very significant in various fields, including prevention and treatment.

Iran’s achievements in fight against COVID-19

With the outbreak of coronavirus, Iran surged its production to meet the country’s need for self-protective equipment along with medical and pharmaceutical items to fight against the virus.

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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