Iran to Boost Covid-19 Testing as Infections Exceed 700,000
EghtesadOnline: Coronavirus infections in Iran topped the 700,000 mark on Tuesday, as the Health Ministry announced ramping up daily testing capacity to 100,000 to prevent the spread of the contagion.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki said they have secured the funding to increase the number of tests administered daily, IRNA reported.
“Daily coronavirus testing has increased from 25,000 to 40,000, which will soon rise to 100,000 with the rise in tests,” he said.
Namaki made the statement during a visit to the western province of Kermanshah to oversee the launch of a pilot program aimed at the early detection of infected patients.
The minister also said all medications related to treating Covid-10 patients, including Remdesivir, are now fully covered by insurance.
The Covid-19 outbreak took the lives of 453 more patients in the past 24 hours, taking the national death toll to 39,200, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“The total number of coronavirus cases rose to 703,288,” Lari said, adding that nearly one-third of the new 10,340 patients had developed severe symptoms and were admitted to hospitals across the country.
According to Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi, locally-manufactured rapid tests, which produce results within 25 minutes, are available to all provinces cost-free.
With Iran’s ailing economy preventing a full lockdown, health authorities are importing locally manufacturing rapid tests that can help identify infections and break the chain of transmission.
“Detected patients must self-isolate for 14 days,” Raeisi stressed.
Earlier, the government had proposed a plan under which known infected individuals would be surveilled through mobile location data to ensure adherence to quarantine.
Those who test positive for Covid-19 are required by law to inform their workplace and family.
“Over 530,000 have recovered from the respiratory illness and 5,580 are in critical condition. Iran has carried out 5.3 million diagnostic tests since the start of the epidemic,” Lari said.
Worldwide coronavirus cases crossed 51.3 million on Tuesday and the death toll reached 1.27 million.