Iran issues first permit for exporting COVID-19 test kits: Official

Iran’s vice president for science and technology says the country has issued its first permit for the export of serologic test kits used to diagnose patients affected with the new coronavirus disease.

Sourena Sattari made the remarks in a video-conference meeting with President Hassan Rouhani on Monday, which was also attended by directors of Iranian science and technology parks.

Explaining about the achievements of Iran’s science and technology parks, Sattari said, “Many products, which are currently being produced [in Iran] for [diagnosis and treatment of] coronavirus could not be made before.”

“We reached a final decision with [the Iranian] Minister of Health this week to issue the permit for the export of serologic test kits for the diagnosis of coronavirus and the first batch of these kits will be exported later in the week.”

The Iranian vice president also emphasized that the country has become needless of importing most medical products related to coronavirus.

Earlier on Monday, Iran’s Health Ministry said the country has recorded a two-digit rise in the number of new coronavirus cases for the first time in more than a month, which indicates the declining curve of the COVID-19 disease in the country.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak started in Iran, several biotechnology firms have been developing test kits for coronavirus amid restrictions on the imports of the diagnostic tools, which come as a result of sanctions imposed by the United States.

The government has said it would exhaust all its resources to ensure there would be sufficient protective gear and vital equipment to respond to the outbreak in the country.

Earlier in April, an Iranian university researcher said domestically-developed coronavirus diagnostic test kits, light-weight ventilators and virus-killing facemasks will soon enter the mass-production stage.

“Diagnostic kits, anti-coronavirus masks and light ventilators developed by researchers at Shahid Beheshti University will soon be mass-produced and put on the market,” added Babak Shokri, a research deputy at the university.

The United States reinstated its sanctions against Iran in 2018 after leaving a United Nations-endorsed nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and five other major powers, Britain, France, Russia and China plus Germany.

Washington claims that it has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from the bans. Tehran entirely disputes this.

In late March, a biomedicine company affiliated with the Iranian Defense Ministry said it has unveiled homemade rapid tests kits for new coronavirus.

A military commander supervising the development of the test kits said that the diagnostics tool will be able to determine the disease in three hours.

Brigadier General Azizi Delshad said kits are capable of identifying all genomes related to the new coronavirus, helping health authorities to increase diagnostic capacity and save patients in early stages of contracting the COVID-19.

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