A senior Iranian academic and medical official announced production of a drug by the country’s scientists which is expected to treat coronavirus infection.
“One of our research centers has succeeded in the production of a medicine for the disease (coronavirus) and it is now in the phase of clinical research,” Head of Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, which works under the supervision of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Alireza Jalali said on Tuesday.
“Today, we received the license for clinical research from the Food and Drug Administration of Iran to immediately start clinical research,” he added.
Several Iranian medical and pharmaceutical research centers have started vast efforts to produce different types medicine for coronavirus infection.
In separate remarks earlier today, Chairman of the Biotechnology Development Council of Iran Mostafa Qaneyee announced that the country would begin efforts to produce drugs to treat patients infected with coronavirus.
“We will start work on the production of medicine to treat coronavirus in the next few days in cooperation with a skilled team which enjoys several years of clinical research, after receiving license from the Ethics Committee,” Qaneyee told FNA on Tuesday.
He added that none of the medications would be new drugs, noting that due to the shortage of time, the Iranian researchers will try to conduct studies on the existing drugs with applications for treating other diseases.
The Iranian Health Ministry said on Tuesday that the number of people infected with coronavirus in Iran increased to 2,336, adding that 77 patients have died so far.
It added that 435 coronavirus patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals across the country.
Reports from different cities and towns of Iran indicate strenuous efforts by the officials to help the coronavirus patients and prevent an epidemic.
There are currently about 90,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the world. Of that number, slightly more than half — nearly 45,400 people — have recovered from the virus. But more than 3,000 people have died.
The coronavirus is spreading in the Middle East, Europe and other parts of the world, as Brazil confirmed its first case in Latin America, while parts of China begin to lower their emergency response level as the number of new cases reported there continues to slow.
Four more people in the Seattle area died after contracting COVID-19, health officials say, bringing the total in both Washington state and the US to six.
The Iranian health ministry had said last Tuesday that over 700,000 sanitation packs, including equipment to prevent coronavirus-infection have been transferred to Qom province, the first place where the COVID 19-infection was diagnosed, and are being distributed among people.
As a preventive measure, Iranian authorities have ordered closure of educational and cultural institutions across the country as of weekend.
Tehran’s municipality announced that all the city’s public places, including the metro trains and buses, are being disinfected at the end of the line every hour as part of attempts to contain the spread of the virus.
Head of Food and Drug Administration Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz also said that pharmacies will no longer be allowed to sell protective masks and that masks will be distributed among the population via government-run centers free of charge, with the priority given to virus-hit provinces.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stressed Iran’s high capabilities to prevent an epidemic of novel coronavirus infection.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting last Wednesday to brief a WHO representative and the foreign ambassadors residing in Tehran on the latest preventive and therapeutic measures taken by the country to contain COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus is called.
In comments at the meeting, the WHO representative said Iran has the necessary fundamental capabilities to tackle the epidemic, and that Tehran’s performance has been as “successful and exemplary” in the region and the world.
The Iranian Health Ministry officials, who were also present at the meeting, reaffirmed Iran’s commitment to the international health regulations and standards.
Iran enjoys all the technical and specialized capabilities needed to battle the coronavirus, they stressed.