TEHRAN – A representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran has the necessary capabilities to fight a new coronavirus outbreak, hailing Tehran’s response to the epidemic.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting on Wednesday to brief the 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.
Considering Iran’s transparent measures in this regard, the Iranian officials and the WHO representative called on the international community to avoid adopting restrictive measures beyond the international standards and regulations, particularly in the field of trade interactions, in dealing with the Islamic Republic.
The Iranian health officials also presented a list of the supplies that the Tehran government needs for controlling, curing and reining in the outbreak to the representatives of the countries willing to help.
The virus first emerged in China late last year and is now spreading in Europe and across the Middle East, sparking fears of a global pandemic.
The outbreak has killed more than 2,600 people and infected more than 77,000 others in China. But the situation has worsened elsewhere with nearly 2,700 other cases and more than 40 deaths globally.
In Iran, the virus first showed up in the north-central city of Qom, a destination for Muslim pilgrims from across the world. In all, the spread has taken 26 lives across the country and infected as many as 245 others, most of them in Qom, according to the figures released on Thursday by Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of public relations and information center of the Iranian Ministry of Health.
Iran to set up 15 diagnostic test labs
Jahanpour said on Thursday that Iran will soon set up some 15 specialized laboratories to help diagnose people infected with coronavirus.
The number of laboratories approved to diagnose the disease will increase from two to seven by the end of the week, and then to 22 within the next week, he said.
On Wednesday, President Hassan Rouhani said the coronavirus testing kits developed by Iranian experts are undergoing final tests and will enter the mass-production stage in the near future.
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