Iran Hopes to Control Coronavirus Epidemic by Late April

Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on Thursday that given the effective measures adopted by the state to contain the coronavirus epidemic, the spread of the disease will likely come under control by late April in the country.

Speaking to reporters via a video conference, the spokesman reiterated that “Iran is among the very few nations that have stated the figures transparently and free from political considerations”.

He further reminded that the Health Ministry develops different scenarios for each contagrious disease, and explained that the Epidemiology Committee has worked out three scenarios for the period of Covid-19 in the country that include harnessing the coronavirus epidemic by early April, by early May or by late June.

Jahanpour said Iran has managed the process and expects the middle scenario to happen, pending on the measures adopted by the neighboring states.

“We may face a new rise and peak of this disease and we think that speaking about harnessing the disease by Farvardin 15 (April 3) is difficult. Of course, we think that this could be done by the end of Farvardin (April 19) with high public cooperation and imposition of restrictions,” Jahanpour told reporters.

Asked about treatment of foreign nationals living in Iran who are infected with COVID-19 virus, he said that free-of-charge coronavirus tests are taken from them and their treatment procedure is no different from the Iranian nationals.

Jahanpour, meantime, said that his country is not ready to accept foreign coronavirus patients from other countries, including neighbors.

Iran reported on Thursday that a total number of 2,234 coronavirus patients have died and 29,406 cases of infection have been identified in the country so far. Meanwhile, 10,457 people have also recovered.

Meantime, Iranian physicians at Masih Daneshvari hospital in Tehran on Thursday started collecting plasma from people who have recovered after contracting coronavirus and injecting the antibody-rich fluid into patients battling COVID-19 to accelerate his/her recovery.

Head of Masih Daneshvari hospital Ali Akbar Velayati said that the staff of the hospital were the first people who donated their plasma to this end.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 195 countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 22,000 people and infected over 478,000 others globally.

The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and universities have been extended until early April.

The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s north, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced earlier this month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.

Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.

He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.

Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.

He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.

Namaki said that the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 22, and will increase to 40 soon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran’s response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.

The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.

The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.

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