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Iranian Scientists Working to Diagnose COVID-19 via Studying Cough Patterns

Iranian researchers of Tehran University are conducting a research to see how much the COVID-19 patients’ cough patterns differ from other patients to obtain a new way of diagnosing the disease.

“A team of MSC and PhD students supervised by Reshad Hosseini and me are studying the possibility of diagnosis of infection to coronavirus in people by using their cough patterns,” Hadi Moradi, one of the executives of the study, told FNA on Tuesday.

He added that at present, two universities in the US and Britain are also conducting the same research to study the feasibility of this method.

Moradi said that the same Iranian team had earlier studied the possibility of diagnosis of autism from the crying pattern of children, whose results will be released in scientific journals.

Also, three Iranian knowledge-based companies are doing their best to discover the exclusive coronavirus antibody known as immunoglobulin as the country is engaged in tough fight against the disease.

“In the beginning, two knowledge-based companies embarked on making Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) while another knowledge-based company took effective steps in the field,” Head of Scientific Committee of the National Coronavirus Campaign Headquarters Mostafa Ghanei announced on Monday.

“To date, no medicine has been introduced in the world that has a definite effect on coronavirus patients based on scientific evidence. A scientific team is collecting all the global evidence in the world and studies articles in this regard to find which drug is effective with the aim of registering it in the medical protocol,” he added.

Meanwhile, Head of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) Saeed Sarkar announced on Tuesday plans to boost manufacturing N95 masks to prevent spread of coronavirus by increasing industrial machines and production of nanofibers.

“We enjoy the capability in Iran to produce nanofibers and naturally, our approach was to increase production of N95 masks by using nanotechnology and we achieved the goal and the medical staff were supplied with high-quality masks,” Sarkar told FNA.

“We plan to increase the industrial machines or production lines of nanofibers to attain self-sufficiency in production of N95 masks,” he added.

Sarkar said that at present 250,000 N95 masks are being produced in Iran which can meet the needs of medical staff, stressing the need for more production.

Meantime, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the country has stored millions of tons of basic goods needed by people, brushing aside any concerns amid coronavirus outbreak.

“We have planned for all goods needed in the country, and we have stored and purchased the basic commodities, medical equipment and drugs needed by the end of this year (late March 2021),” President Rouhani said, addressing the government’s meeting on economy, in Tehran on Tuesday.

Moreover, Commander of the Iranian Ground Force Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari underlined that the spread of coronavirus has not left any negative impacts on his forces’ combat power, saying that new military equipment will be unveiled on the occasion of Army Day in Iran (April 17).

“We had adopted measures in order for our assistance to people (during the coronavirus epidemic) not to leave any impact on our combat power because we already had formed units special to such conditions, including the modern war units,” General Heidari said in a press conference on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, he said that although the Army Day parades have been cancelled across Iran due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Ground Force will unveil new equipment, including tools to diagnose and confront coronavirus, and military equipment like Kian-500, Kian-600 and Kian-700 vehicles and anti-armor missiles.

The Iranian Armed Forces have been actively involved in anti-coronavirus activities across the country.

Furthermore, scores of Iranian organizations gathered together to set up the Imam Hassan base that aims to rush to aid those who have been troubled by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The formation of the new base comes after the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s remarks on April 9, calling on Iranians to show sympathy and provide sincere help to the poor and the needy.

On Tuesday, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami called on any institute and organization concerned with the issue of helping the deprived people to come to the IRGC headquarters for concentration of efforts

Meanwhile, Head of Center for Management of Transplant and Diseases of Health Ministry Mehdi Shadnoush said that the ministry has distributed over 540,000 protective packages in 10 provinces among patients suffering from special diseases.

Shadnoush added that these packages include disinfectants and face masks.

The Iranian health ministry announced on Tuesday that 98 Coronavirus patients have died in the country in the last one day after a month that the country was losing over a hundred patients each day.

“1,574 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country since yesterday based on confirmed diagnosis criteria,” Jahanpour said on Tuesday.

He said that the total number of coronavirus patients in Iran has increased to 74,877, adding that 4,683 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, including 98 in the past 24 hours.

Jahanpour, meantime, said that 48,129 infected people have been treated and dismissed from hospital, adding that the recovery of patients has sped up in Iran.

He noted that 287,359 coronavirus diagnosis tests have been carried out in the country so far, expressing concern that 3,691 patients infected with COVID-19 virus are in critical conditions.

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 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 120,400 people and infected over 1.93 million 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 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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