Russia gives Iran 50k coronavirus testing kits to help fight epidemic

Press TV – Russia has provided Iran with tens of thousands of testing kits for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as the Islamic Republic steps up the battle against the flu-like virus originating from China.

Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali said Tuesday that the Russian government had donated 50,000 diagnostic kits to Tehran’s Embassy, adding that the equipment will be supplied to the medical personnel at the front line of the fight against the coronavirus outbreak inside Iran as soon as possible.

He also hailed Russia’s cooperation with Iran to counter the epidemic and stressed that both countries were determined to enhance ties in the health sector.

“Iran has taken necessary measures to contain the coronavirus and prevent its spread,” said the diplomat, but added that “eradicating this virus requires regional and global cooperation.”

The Iranian ambassador further expressed hope for closer Tehran-Moscow cooperation against the growing epidemic, which he described as an international threat.

Iran is developing its own diagnostic kits, which will be supplied to the market as of March 20.

On Tuesday, Iran confirmed 54 news deaths, the highest daily toll so far, raising the total fatality count to 291.  A total of 8,042 infections have been diagnosed. And 2,731 patients have recovered, the Healthy Ministry said.

Most of the infections have been reported in the provinces of Tehran, Mazandaran, Isfahan, Gilan and Qom, where the virus was first found.

The coronavirus initially emerged in China late last year and is now spreading in Europe and across the Middle East, sparking fears of a global pandemic.

The illness, whose symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing, may cause lung lesions and pneumonia.

Since December 2019, over 114,510 people have been infected in several countries, with more than 4,020 deaths mostly in China.