Defense Ministry resolved to defeat coronavirus outbreak: official

April 4, 2020 - 19:33

TEHRAN - The Defense Ministry’s health, treatment and rescue department said on Saturday that it is determined to continue fight against the COVID-19 disease till rooting the virus out. 

Reza Allah-Varn, the department chief, said the military has been defending the country via reinvigorating deterrence power. He added, "The same policy is followed by the ministry in countering the virus."

The ministry official expressed the hope to overcome the outbreak in the shortest time possible. 

Reza Allah-Varn went on to say that coronavirus diagnostic kit was produced by the ministry 40 days ago and later went under test by the Pasteur Institute.

He added, "Mass production of the kits has been started in Imam Reza (AS) Healthcare Base." 

On Monday, the Iranian Defense Ministry unveiled a new generation of test kits that can detect the COVID-19 in three hours with 98 percent accuracy.

Second Brigadier General Amiri from the Defense Ministry said the homegrown test kit is being endorsed by the Health Ministry.

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

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.

The Army and the IRGC have been building field hospitals in certain cities across Iran.  For example, the Army has converted the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds into a field hospital with 2,000 beds to prepare for a probable surge of COVID-19 patients. Built on March 25, the hospital has the capacity to add 1,000 more beds. It was built just in 24 hours.

On March 13, top commanders of the IRGC, Army, and police gathered together on how to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. 

In a decree on March 12, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the establishment of a “health and treatment headquarters” to prevent further spread of the coronavirus in the country.

In his edict, which was addressed to military chief Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, Ayatollah Khamenei praised the services to the people by the Armed Forces in their drive to hamper further spread of the coronavirus and said, “It is necessary that these services be organized in the form of a health and treatment headquarters.” 

Ayatollah Khamenei added, “In addition to establishing such treatment facilities as field hospitals and infirmaries, and so forth, you must focus on prevention of the further spread of this disease through necessary means as well.

“Since there is speculation that this incident might be a ‘biological attack’, this measure could be also some form of biological defense drill, which would add to national power and strength [of the country],” the leader stated.