Iran Says Ready to Export COVID-19 Test Kits to Regional States

Iran which has been one of the countries worst hit by the virus and one of those least able to respond

DESPARDES — Head of Iran’s Pasteur Institute says it has developed COVID-19 test kits and “we are now able” to test suspected cases and “we are even ready” to export kits to regional countries.

Speaking at a video press conference on Wednesday, Alireza Biglari told media the kits which are now being used in Iran are molecular and has been verified by the World Health Organization, reports IRNA.

If sampling is done correctly, the kit’s test will be true by over 90%, he said.

The Institute had identified all kits in the international market two months before the first coronavirus-infected case was found in Iran, the report said.

Biglari went on to say that five knowledge-based companies produced molecular kits domestically.

One of these companies announced that it will produce 80,000 kits per week, he noted.   

Iran is one of the epicenters of the global pandemic that by Wednesday afternoon had reported more than 47,593 infections and nearly 3,036 deaths, according to John Hopkins University data. Other bordering nations — including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan — have also registered hundreds of cases.

Globally, as of Wednesday morning, the pandemic consisted of 885,687 infected patients and 44,216 deaths in 180 countries, according to a live tracker of COVID-19 statistics by Johns Hopkins University.

Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez call on US to lift Iran sanctions

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have led calls for the US to ease harsh sanctions imposed on Iran which has been one of the countries worst hit by the virus and one of those least able to respond.

In a public letter signed by around three-dozen politicians, including congresswoman Ilhan Omar, Mr Sanders and Ms Ocasio-Cortez, called on the Trump administration to step in with humanitarian aid, rather than making a very bad situation worse.

The call comes less than a week after Washington imposed new sanctions on Tehran, reports The Independent UK.

“Rather than continue to invoke new sanctions in the Iranian people’s hour of need, we urge you to substantially suspend sanctions on Iran during this global public health emergency in a humanitarian gesture to the Iranian people to better enable them to fight the virus,” said the letter.

“We encourage the US to find a way to deliver aid directly to the Iranian people to support the Iranian people’s fight against Coronavirus, as many other nations have done. There is precedent for both of these steps, as the George W Bush administration eased sanctions and delivered aid to Iran following a deadly earthquake near Bam in 2003.”