“Now, we have increased production of 120,000 masks to 800,000 masks and today, we do not have shortage of drugs we faced on the first days of the coronavirus epidemic and we have met the country’s needs to drugs domestically,” Shanehsaz said in a press conference in Tehran on Thursday.
He added that the country is now producing 85,000 N95 masks and 50,000 protective gears, noting that the Iranian companies’ capacity to produce disinfecting materials has also grown 10 fold.
Shanehsaz said that several knowledge-based companies have also started production of kits to diagnose coronavirus for free tests.
An Iranian pharmaceutical firm is producing a weekly number of 80,000 coronavirus testing kits and has distributed thousands of its products among laboratories across the country.
“After receiving the health ministry’s license, we have given a part of the company’s production line to the mass-production of coronavirus kits since early last week and now we are able to produce 80,000 kits at standard levels in low prices (compared to the foreign kits),” Vahid Yunessi, the business manager at Pishtaz Teb company, told FNA on Tuesday.
He added that the firm distributed 10,000 coronavirus test kits to 100 labs across Iran earlier in the day.
Yunessi said that supply to the labs began after his company obtained certificates for the kits from the Iranian Health Ministry.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting over 195 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 21,300 people and infected over 472,000 others globally.
Iran reported on Wednesday that a total number of 2,077 coronavirus patients have died and 27,017 cases of infection have been identified in the country so far. Meanwhile, 9,625 people have also recovered.
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 universities have been extended until early 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.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced earlier this 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.
Namaki said that the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 22, and will increase to 40 soon.
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.