“Due to advances in our diagnosis capability, we have been able to identify more COVID-19 cases in the country,” Saeed Namaki said late Thursday.
“Signs of their recovery will further emerge in the following days; this will completely transform Iran’s situation on the world stage,” he added.
Namaki made the comments while speaking on the sidelines of a video conference with officials of the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office.
During the meeting, the WHO officials praised Iran’s anti-coronavirus initiative, known as the “national mobilization against the coronavirus”, and called for the application of Iran’s experience in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Iran doing its best in COVID-19 battle despite lack of equipment: WHOThe WHO chief has commended Iran
Under the country’s “national mobilization against the coronavirus” campaign, Iran has sought to conduct a nationwide examination to identify COVID-19 patients and manage its response against the outbreak.
In his remarks on Thursday, Namaki said that more than 90 percent of the initiative’s target population had been “covered”.
Namaki had said on Wednesday that over 67 million Iranians had been screened for the disease.
Iran to double COVID-19 test capacity to 20,000 per dayIran is increasing its testing capacity for suspected cases of the new coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, to 20,000 a day.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting with WHO officials, Namaki stressed that Iran’s “positive situation” among the countries in the eastern Mediterranean region was due to public cooperation.
The health minister added that Iran has yet to fully control the disease and that physical distancing restrictions imposed across the country will be extended as planned until next week.
According to the latest numbers released by Iran’s Health Ministry on Thursday, 50,468 Iranians have contracted the disease, 3,160 of which have lost their lives. Another 16,711 people have also recovered from the disease.
Iran, which is grappling with widespread US sanctions banning medical aid from reaching the country, has been among the worst affected by the disease.
The country’s ranking in the number of confirmed cases has, however, dropped from second place to the sixth over the past month.
The US sanctions have hampered Iran’s fight against the fast-spreading disease amid the UN’s failure to push for the lifting of the restrictions.
Iran medical body writes to Guterres, slams UN inaction on cruel US bansIn a letter to the UN chief, the Academy of Medical Sciences of Iran slams the world body’s failure to take action against the American sanctions amid coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday, more than 30 members of the US Congress sent a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, calling for the suspension of sanctions against Iran amid the coronavirus fight in the country.
The US legislators, including Senators Bernie Sanders and Edward J. Markey and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar urged the Trump administration to step in with humanitarian aid rather than worsening the situation in Iran.
US lawmakers press Trump to lift Iran sanctions amid ‘borderless’ pandemicIn a letter to the Trump administration, a group of US lawmakers call for the suspension of anti-Iran sanctions amid a global battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
Ministry reports 134 new deaths
Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus rose on Friday to 3,294 as it claimed 134 lives in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur said.
The total number of people confirmed to be infected is 53,183, he said, adding that 4,035 ware “under observation”.
Of the total number of people who were diagnosed with the disease, 17,935 have recovered, he said.