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Iran, Venezuela Review Ways to Confront COVID-19

Iranian and Venezuelan health offiials in a video conference on Monday discussed ways to counter the deadly coronavirus which is now affecting all countries across the world.

Iranian Deputy Health Minister Mohsen Assadi Lari and his Venezuelan counterpart Gabriela Miquilareno exhanged views on how to effectively fight the COVID-19.

During the video conference, Assadi Lari referred to the management of the disease in Iran in the form of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus and related committees across the country.

Assadi Lari also explained strengthening and launching diagnostic laboratories, Smart Social Distancing plan, launching an application as well as self-reporting system, organizing and benefiting from the capacity of the volunteer forces, distribution of items, as well as support for vulnerable or elderly people, successful activities in the production of diagnostic kits and protective items, and clinical trials in Iran.

The deputy health minister of Venezuela also welcomed the use of Iran’s successful experiences in controlling COVID-19.

Referring to Iran’s achievements in dealing with coronavirus, establishing and equipping several laboratories, and implementing the coronavirus screening project, as well as launching a virtual education system, Maria Gabriella Mikvillarno called for greater cooperation between the two countries in countering the spread of coronavirus.

Despite the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus worldwide and the need to fight it all out, the United States insists on its sanctions against Iran and Venezuela and repeatedly imposes new sanctions against the two countries and continue its hostile policies.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all 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 207,200 people and infected over 3 million others globally.

The Iranian health ministry announced on Monday that 991 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified in the past 24 hours, the first day that the country is reporting less than 1,000 patients after 36 days.

“991 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country since yesterday based on confirmed diagnosis criteria,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

He added that the number of coronavirus patients in the country has increased to 91,472 people, noting, “Today, after 36 days, the number of new cases of COVID-19 infection has decreased to less than 1,000.”

Jahanpour said that 5,806 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, including 96 in the past 24 hours.

He, meantime, said that 70,933 infected people have been treated and dismissed from hospital, expressing concern that 3,011 patients infected with COVID-19 virus are in critical conditions.

Jahanpour also noted that 432,329 coronavirus diagnosis tests have been carried out in the country so far.

Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki stressed on April 7 effective measures to control coronavirus epidemic, expressing the hope that the disease would be controlled in Iran by late May.

“At present, the country is in the phase of disease management and we should not imagine that we have reached the harness and control phase. Today is the time for full-fledged combat against the virus. God willing, we will control coronavirus by late May. The virus should be controlled in the minimum possible time,” Namaki said, addressing the Iranian legislators in an open session of the parliament in Tehran.

He noted that at least 30% to 50% of hospital beds are still vacant across Iran and nearly 15,000 beds are ready to keep the patients who are recovering from coronavirus disease.

“We have now moved down to tank 6th in terms of deaths,” Namaki said, adding that the country’s situation in treatment of patients will improve in the next few days.

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 most universities have been extended until late 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.

Namaki announced last 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.

According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached over 90 across the country.

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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