Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri announced on Tuesday that the country will have no need to imports of masks and disinfecting materials from foreign states to fight against coronavirus in the near future.
“In the first days of coronavirus outbreak, we faced limitations in supplying the needs of medical staff and people as we were unprepared, but today we have been able to produce the equipment needed to fight against the coronavirus inside the country with a Jihadi move and surge in productions,” Jahangiri said on Tuesday.
He added that Iran was forced to import the health and hygiene products from foreign states on the first days of the coronavirus outbreak, criticizing certain countries for not allowing dispatch of such goods to Iran under the pretext of the US sanctions.
“We will have no shortages in production of masks and different types of disinfecting materials in the country in the near future and this means a surge in production,” Jahangiri said.
He also appreciated Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei for his permission to withdraw one billion euros from the National Development Fund Of Iran (NDFI) to combat the deadly coronavirus in the country, and said, “The Leader responded positively to any demand the government has made in these days in the shortest time possible.”
In relevant remarks on Monday, Head of Iran Nanotechnology Initiative Council (INIC) Saeed Sarkar said that the country’s knowledge-based companies have bolstered their capacity to produce N95 masks to 250,000 on a daily basis.
“The capacity to produce masks in Iran has four-folded since the start of coronavirus epidemic and more measures are underway to increase it,” Sarkar said.
He noted that the Iranian knowledge-based companies have managed to produce 20,000 N95 masks on the first days of the coronavirus epidemic, adding, “The number has today increased to 250,000 masks.”
Sarkar said that his country has now no problem in supplying the medical staff with N95 masks, saying that more efforts are needed to provide such equipment to the people who work in crowded areas, including banks, subways, etc.
Also, on Sunday, Head of Iran’s Currency Savings Trust in Patients Treatment Mehdi Yousefi announced that the country was now able to produce 40 ventilators each day to be used at medical centers in the fight against coronavirus.
“We have 8-folded production of ventilators and reached 40 machines from 5 machines (since the start of coronavirus epidemic),” Yousefi told reporters via video conference.
He said that 85% of anti-coronavirus health and hygiene products supplied to the universities of medical sciences across the country were home-made, adding that production of masks in Iran has 3-folded compared to the pre-coronavirus era.
Yousefi also underlined plans to deliver 4,000 new ICU beds to the hospitals across Iran by the yearend (late March).
Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on Monday that over 60,000 people in the country have been infected with coronavirus, including 2,274 new cases in the last one day, adding that 3,739 patients have also died so far.
“2,274 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified since Sunday, increasing the number of infected people to 60,500,” Jahanpour said.
He noted that unfortunately, 136 patients infected with COVID-19 virus have lost their lives since Sunday, raising the total toll to 3,739 people.
Jahanpour, meantime, voiced pleasure that the recovery of coronavirus patients in Iran has sped up, saying that 24,236 people have been treated so far.
He also voiced concern that 4,083 coronavirus patients in Iran are in critical conditions.
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 74,700 people and infected over 1.34 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.
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 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.