“2,397 new patients infected with COVID-19 have been identified in the country during the past 24 hours and 1,739 patients have been hospitalized,” Iranian Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Saturday, adding, “The total number of the COVID-19 patients reached 255,117.”
“Unfortunately, 188 patients lost their lives in the past 24 hours, increasing the number of the dead to 12,635,” Sadat Lari added.
She expressed pleasure that 217,666 patients infected with coronavirus have recovered or been discharged from hospitals.
The spokeswoman also expressed concern that 3,338 coronavirus patients are in critical conditions, adding that 1,947,114 diagnostic tests have been conducted across the country.
“Khuzestan, Hormozgan, East Azarbaijan, Khorasan Razavi and North Khorasan provinces are in red condition,” she warned, and noted that Tehran, Isfahan, Mazandaran, Golestan, Ilam, Alborz, Kerman, South Khorasan, Kohgilouyeh and Boyer Ahmad and Lorestan provinces are in status of alert.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last month that over 1,000 medical centers in the country have received necessary equipment to conduct tests on people suspected of infection to coronavirus, and added that Iran ranks first in the Muslim world in scientific achievements.
"Based on a report [by the health ministry], 1,200 centers across the country are ready to take samples and tests from people and 17,500 nursing and health homes are also prepared to provide hygiene and treatment services to people," Rouhani said, addressing a meeting of the national coronavirus campaign headquarters in Tehran.
Also, earlier this month, he said that the country will increase the number of its hospital beds to 8,000 by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19).
"We will add 8,000 hospital beds by the yearend," Rouhani said.
He added that 1,500 hospital beds for special cases have also been added to the capacity of the country's medical system since the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, noting that 2 drug production lines are also added every month to the country's pharmaceutical capacity.
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 562,8 people and infected over 12.6 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 further notice.