Feb 22, 2020 12:44 Asia/Tehran [Updated: Feb 22, 2020 14:04 Asia/Tehran]
  • Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki
    Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki

Tehran (IP) - Iran's Minister of Health and Medical Education has said Coronavirus diagnostic kits are available in sufficient numbers in the country. So far, 285 individuals have been tested for coronavirus infection and only 18 of those have tested positive.

Iran Press/ Iran News: Saeed Namaki added: "All suspicious cases are being investigated and the number of affected people will be announced between 12 - 13 pm."

The health minister said it is false to claim that there is a shortage of coronavirus detection kits. We have the detection kit in sufficient numbers and there is no shortage. We have enough kits and leading medical experts in universities to be able to diagnose the disease in Iran.

"Some people may have symptoms but not all of them are infected by the new coronavirus. A set of three tests to diagnose the disease is necessary and the last stage of the test should be carried out by the Pasteur Institute and if confirmed by the institute, the person is infected by the new Coronavirus.

Namaki added: "The speed of spread and lethality of the Coronavirus is much lower than the H1N1 virus we controlled this fall, and the virus is less deadly than the SARS virus that spread in China in 2003. The problem is that the virus is infecting more people."

Elsewhere in his remarks Saeed Namaki said: "We treat people with suspected symptoms according to WHO recommendations for treatment of people who have symptoms and have traveled to China or other infected countries. No one in Qom was reported to have traveled overseas, even if they declared themselves to have no contact with people infected with the coronavirus, so our colleagues in Qom did not treat these people as suspicious."

The health minister added: "By observing the signs of the disease in these people and they were suspected of having respiratory infections, the experts came to the conclusion that they would also be examined for coronavirus infection. Thus two elderly patients in Qom tested positive and unfortunately died."

The outbreak of coronavirus - known as COVID-19 - in Iran was first detected on 19 February, when health authorities in Qom confirmed the death of two elderly people as a result of the first incidence of the disease in Iran.    211/207

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