“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 on Monday.
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.
In relevant remarks 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).
The Iranian health ministry announced on Sunday that 2,483 new coronavirus patients had been identified in the country, raising the total number of infected people to 58,226 and deaths to 3,603.
“2,483 new patients infected with COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country since yesterday based on confirmed diagnosis criteria,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.
The official added that the number of coronavirus patients in Iran has increased to 58,226, adding that 3,603 people have lost their lives due to infection to the virus, 151 of them in the past 24 hours.
Jahanpour, meantime, said that the recovery of patients has accelerated in Iran and 22,011 infected people have been treated and dismissed from hospital.
He noted that 70mln people in Iran have also been screened.
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 69,400 people and infected over 1.27 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.