Iran mass produces coronavirus tests as deaths exceed 2,700

Tehran, Mar 30 (efe-epa).- Iran started mass producing coronavirus testing kits on Monday as the number of deaths in the country surpassed 2,700.

More than 41,000 people in the country have been infected with Covid-19 of which around 13,900 have recovered, according to the Iranian health ministry.

Kianush Jahanpur, health spokesman, said 3,186 new cases and 117 deaths had been reported in the past day.

Iran has had difficulties importing equipment to deal with the pandemic due to sanctions imposed by the United States.

Tehran has asked Washington to end its policy of maximum pressure during the crisis as other countries sent shipments of medical supplies to Tehran.

Iran’s armed forces have started manufacturing tests to make the nation less dependent on foreign aid.

Brigadier-General Mohammad Azizi Delshad said the kits can detect the disease with a high degree of accuracy within three hours.

The research model of the test had been produced before the first cases were identified in Iran on February 19, the official added.

He said the kit is no less advanced than ones made in foreign countries and is 98 per cent accurate.

Iran has also started manufacturing much-needed mechanical ventilators to treat patients suffering from respiratory failure, one of the symptoms associated with Covid-19.

Sorena Sattari, vice president of science and technology, said an Iranian company has been producing 30 ventilators a day.

Masks, protective suits, disinfectant and other equipment has also been produced in the country, mainly in factories run by the defence ministry.

Defence minister Amir Hatami said Sunday that Iranian companies had produced around 1.5 million masks, 60,000 suits and 2.5 million litres of disinfectant.

The armed forces have also assigned military hospitals to treat coronavirus patients and set up medical centres with 1,000s of beds, including at the Tehran International Exhibition Permanent Fairground.

Another treatment facility has also been set up on the outskirts of the capital in a private initiative by the owner of the country’s biggest shopping centre the Iran Mall.

Iran has been one of the worst-affected countries in the world by the pandemic, which emerged in China in December.

Authorities have imposed social distancing measures and have warned that these could be prolonged or strengthened in the fight against the outbreak.

The virus has spread to 177 countries with more than 735,000 confirmed infections, of which 156,000 have recovered, and deaths approaching 35,000. EFE-EPA


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