WHO Praises Iran's Anti-Corona Strategies

14 Mar 2020

WHO Praises Iran's Anti-Corona Strategies

Fars News Agency

March 14, 2020



TEHRAN (FNA)- The World Health Organization's Emergency Director for the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Richard Brennan, said that Iran's strategies are on the right path to contain coronavirus epidemic.

Speaking on the sidelines of visiting the WHO delegation and the COVID-19 pandemic public health experts' visit to Iran, he said that a comprehensive and coordinated approach is currently being implemented in Iran, especially in the areas of patient management, laboratories, and risk communication.

"We were also impressed by the interaction with other parts of the community, with officials and health workers clearly working very hard and committed to coronavirus outbreak, to control and save lives", the WHO official stated, adding, "The government uses the powerful national health system and disaster management capabilities to respond to this virus outbreak."

"However, further action needs to be taken, based on the evidence-based experiences of China and other countries, we have agreed with national health authorities on capacity building in many priority areas, with useful discussions on ways to collect and improve Epidemiological data analysis that plays a key role in understanding the evolution of the outbreak and taking appropriate measures to control the disease.

"All of us are still learning about this new virus, so we need to closely track its spread quickly, with proven measures for public health, such as early detection, quarantine, and early treatment," Richard Brennan noted.

"Further efforts are needed to protect health workers, and the fight against the coronavirus continues in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and now all people in the country are participating to contain coronavirus epidemic and this crisis, taking proper and timely public health measures at an appropriate scale. Will make a big difference", Richard Brennan added.
"Significant progress has been made in increasing the number of COVID-19 pandemic diagnostic laboratories and now there are more than 30 laboratories nationwide capable of performing this test and at least 20 more will be added."

Meanwhile, WHO's Iran representative Christoph Hamelmann said that the UN body is working closely with  Iran to coordinate and provide the necessary international support to Iran to fight the outbreak.

Iranian Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on Friday that the new coronavirus outbreak in the country has claimed 514 lives out of 11,364 confirmed cases of infection so far, adding that 3,529 coronavirus patients have recovered.

Jahanpour highlighted that the only way to defeat the outbreak is to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travels.  

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new respiratory disease first identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. The World Health Organization on Wednesday described the outbreak as a pandemic.

According to the latest reports, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has infected 145,682 people in 145 countries, claiming 5,436 lives.

Mainland China reported 21 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday, putting the country’s total infections at 80,814 and a death toll of 3,177.

On Wednesday, 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 for the next two weeks.

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 week 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.