VP: Iranian Companies Able to Produce 100,000 Coronavirus Testing Kits Weekly

Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari said that two knowledge-based firms in the country have produced 250,000 kits to diagnose coronavirus so far, stressing their potential to manufacture 100,000 kits per week.

The cycle of innovation has led to the development of modern diagnostic kits, with two of the Iranian enterprises producing 250,000 of the devices so far, Sattari said.

The companies possess the potential to produce as many as 100,000 of the kits per week, he added.

Production of preventive facemasks has also witnessed a four-fold-plus increase, the vice-president noted, adding that the production level still had to rise far higher so that they can meet the country and the regional states’ needs.

Sattari said that the knowledge-based organizations were also heavily engaged in clinical tests on remedial pharmaceutical protocols, an endeavor that has lifted up any need for medicine imports as the country confronts the outbreak.

According to the official, the level of productivity that has come about across the country since emergence of the outbreak has rendered the Islamic Republic needless of all virus-related medical imports.

Apart from the companies, the innovative ecosystem contributing to the virus fight also comprises research centers and various universities, which are active in the area of biotechnology, Sattari said.

After emergence, the coronavirus outbreak created a need for ventilators that can be used to turn a normal hospital bed to an intensive care unit one, the official stated. Two of the scientific companies, therefore, embarked on producing the devices, making up for any shortages that countrywide hospitals faced in the areas, he added.

The technology produced by experts at Iranian science-based enterprises was wheeled in, in the presence of Iran’s Deputy President for Science and Technology, Sattari said.

“A number of the companies managed to introduce a new method for diagnosing coronavirus’ [infection] by resorting to artificial intelligence,” he said.

He said the new method opens up “a new perspective for high-precision diagnosis of the coronavirus with the use of CT scan.”

The state-of-the-art know-how can now be deployed across many hospitals countrywide, the official announced.

Sattari said such enterprises as the ones, who gave birth to the new method, had made much progress over the recent years and “were [now] on the frontline of the battle [against the infection].

The COVID-19 Detecting System was unveiled in a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, which uses the CT scan method and Artificial Intelligence for diagnosing the novel Coronavirus disease and is the most accurate in the world.

In relevant remarks, Head of Coronavirus Management Center in Tehran Alireza Zali said on Saturday that Iranian researchers have launched a new system based on artificial intelligence which can diagnose infection to COVID-19 virus in patients without access to a specialized physician.

“The system is used in regions where there is no (specialized) doctor or radiologist and it gives precise consultations to the patient by using his/her CT Scan image and it estimates the volume of pulmonary lesion,” Zali said.

He added that the system has been developed by using artificial intelligence and evaluates and forecasts future conditions.

The Iranian health ministry announced on Saturday that the number of coronavirus cases in the country has increased to 55,743, adding that 3,452 patients have died and 19,736 others have recovered so far.

Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said that “2,560 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in Iran, increasing the number of infected patients to 55,743”.

He added that 19,736 coronavirus patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals, expressing concern that 4,103 people infected with the virus are in critical conditions.

“Unfortunately, 158 patients infected with COVID-19 virus have lost their lives in the past 24 hours and the total number of deaths has increased to 3,452 people,” Jahanpour said.

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 64,700 people and infected over 1.2 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 universities have been extended until mid 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 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 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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