Iran offers its neighbors underutilized coronavirus testing kits

Bloomberg | : A top government scientist said Iran’s producing enough reliable coronavirus test kits to be able to help out neighboring countries.

Alireza Biglari, the head of the Pasteur Institute of Iran, said the molecular diagnostic kits have been approved by the World Health Organization and have an accuracy of 90% if used properly, state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

“If our neighbors and regional countries require help, the Health Ministry is also prepared to export them,” Biglari was quoted as saying. Five medical research companies are each producing at least 80,000 kits a week, he said, while around 10,000 tests are being carried out a day across 90 laboratories in the Islamic Republic. Iran aims to double its testing “soon,” according to Biglari.

Iran has been hit hard by the virus, with more than 3,000 deaths and 47,593 cases, according to the latest government data. Around 67 million people have been screened for symptoms, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Wednesday, most via a government telephone line or a mobile phone application.