Jan 28, 2020 06:53 UTC
  • Iran importing test kits to prevent coronavirus spread: Health official

An Iranian health ministry official says the country is to be supplied with more coronavirus test kits as authorities tighten restrictions for the arrival of visitors from China to prevent any spread of the virus into Iran.

“An increased number of test kits will be imported into the country in the upcoming days for (the purpose of) strategic storage,” said Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, on Monday while rejecting reports there was a shortage for such kits in Iran amid a global emergency over the spread of coronavirus.

Jahanpour said test kits currently used in Iran have been supplied by German companies. He did not elaborate on whether the kits were of the types newly approved by Chinese and other international health bodies.

The comments came as Iranian authorities reiterated there has been no case of coronavirus in the country nearly two weeks after it began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in the Hubei province, where around 80 people have been killed and thousands have been infected.

Iran’s health minister Said Namaki said on Monday that his department had asked the government to tighten requirement needed for visits to Iran by Chinese nationals.

“For more control we have asked that receiving visa for Chinese citizens should be tied to obtaining heath certificate,” said the minister.

Namaki’s deputy Alireza Raeisi said that obtaining health certificate for Chinese visitors traveling to Iran had become “mandatory”.

He said that screening passengers for suspected cases was continuing at airports and other points of entry into Iran.

Officials said on Saturday that a Chinese national of the Afghan origin had been tested negative for coronavirus after he was suspected of contracting the virus.

MG

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