Vahid Younesi, the business development manager at Pishtaz Teb Zaman Diagnostics, said the research and development team at his company began its work on the production of indigenous laboratory test kits for the new coronavirus, after the first cases were confirmed in Iran last month and upon a call for cooperation by the country’s Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology.
“Researchers and specialists at the firm are working round-the-clock and strenuously on the matter and have utilized the instructions plus world experience, especially by the two pioneer counties of the US and China in the manufacture of coronavirus diagnostic test kits,” he pointed out.
Younesi added that Pishtaz Teb Zaman Diagnostics can supply recommended labs with 80,000 kits every week, and has expressed its readiness to deliver 400,000 kits within the next Persian calendar month (April 20 – May 20).
“COVID-19 will be correctly diagnosed in suspected patients with the product. These kits will seek out (the virus’) viral genomes, and the result will be out once the diagnosis process is completed,” he said, according to Press TV.
Younesi highlighted that his knowledge-based company has already mass-produced the coronavirus diagnostic test kits, and is awaiting proper permits for distribution among laboratories approved by the Iranian health ministry.
The Iranian coronavirus test kit “is exactly on par with the foreign-made ones as regards precision, functionality and time of diagnosis … It will take two hours for test results to come out,” he said.
Younesi went on to say that his company will start exporting the Iranian coronavirus test kits once domestic needs are met, emphasizing that some 20 countries have placed ordered to purchase the kits.
Iran has confirmed 27,000 cases of coronavirus since the infection was spotted in the country on February 19.
More than 9,000 people have recovered and 2,077 have died of the virus, according to the latest figures provided by the health ministry.
Officials believe cases could surge in the coming weeks if more tests are carried out especially in remote areas where access to health care is low.
However, more testing could also boost efforts to prevent more deaths, especially among the elderly and those suffering from underlying conditions.
Several other biotechnology firms in Iran have developed testing kits for coronavirus amid restrictions on the imports of the diagnostic tools which has come as a result of the American sanctions.
The government has said it would exhaust all its resources to ensure there would be sufficient protective gear and vital equipment to respond to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The United States reinstated its sanctions against Iran in 2018 after leaving a United Nations-endorsed nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic and five other major powers -- the UK, France, Russia and China plus Germany.
Washington claims that it has exempted foodstuffs and medicine from the bans, something that Tehran entirely disputes.