TEHRAN (FNA)- The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) declared the launch of two new Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) centers in the country in the fight against the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
The announcement was made by Deputy Commander of the IRGC Ground Force for Coordination Brigadier General Ali Akbar Pourjamshidian on Friday.
"Before the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, there were three molecular cell testing centers nationwide," he said, adding that after the spread of the epidemic, the number of the country’s molecular cell testing centers increased to five.
Turning to the medical-logistics equipment of IRGC Ground Force in the fight against COVID-19, he stated, “Regarding the allocation of medical equipment to the hospitals of Armed Forces, Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Ministry of Defense and also military hospitals cooperated and interacted with each other to provide necessary equipment in fighting coronavirus in the country.”
Pourjamshidian pointed to the significance and role of medical equipment in the fight against COVID-19, and added, “Following the outbreak of the disease in the country, Health Department of IRGC Ground Force equipped its hospital beds, ICU wards and 12 hospitals with necessary medical equipment."
The Iranian health ministry announced on Friday that 2,819 new cases of infection with coronavirus have been identified in the country in the past 24 hours, adding that more than 114,931 patients have recovered.
"2,819 more patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country in the past 24 hours based on confirmed diagnosis criteria," Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Friday.
He explained that 547 new patients were hospitalized and 2,272 others were identified as outpatients.
Jahanpour noted that the total number of coronavirus patients in the country has increased to 146,668 people.
He expressed pleasure that 114,931 patients have been recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
Jahanpour said that 7,677 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, including 50 in the past 24 hours.
The ministry’s spokesman, meantime, expressed concern that 2,547 patients infected with COVID-19 virus are in critical conditions.
He went on to say that there have been no reports of death in 15 provinces during the past 24 hours, and that 5 provinces have reported just one dead each.
Expressing concern over the red condition of Khuzestan province, Jahanpour added that there are concerns about Khorasan Razavi and East and West Azarbaijan provinces, as well.
Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki stressed on April 7 effective measures to control coronavirus epidemic, expressing the hope that the disease would be controlled in Iran by late May.
“At present, the country is in the phase of disease management and we should not imagine that we have reached the harness and control phase. Today is the time for full-fledged combat against the virus. God willing, we will control coronavirus by late May. The virus should be controlled in the minimum possible time,” Namaki said, addressing the Iranian legislators in an open session of the parliament in Tehran.
He noted that at least 30% to 50% of hospital beds are still vacant across Iran and nearly 15,000 beds are ready to keep the patients who are recovering from coronavirus disease.
“We have now moved down to tank 6th in terms of deaths,” Namaki said, adding that the country’s situation in treatment of patients will improve in the next few days.
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 362,000 people and infected over 5.92 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 further notice.
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.
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.