Health ministry explains about dispatch of MSF team to Iran

TEHRAN, Mar. 24 (MNA) – Iran’s Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour has clarified certain speculations surrounding the dispatch of a team from Doctors Without Borders to Iran and its plans for setting up an inflatable hospital in the country for COVID-19 patients.

In a presser held via videoconference on Tuesday, Iran’s Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour commented on the dispatch of a team from Doctors Without Borders — also known by the acronym of French name MSF — as well as an inflatable hospital to Iran in a bid to contain the coronavirus outbreak and treat the patients.

He said Iran welcomes any help from MSF or any governmental or non-governmental organizations except those from the US and the Israeli regime, noting that the MSF team was planning to set up a 48-bed inflatable hospital at one of Iran’s medical centers.

“They did not have notified the Iranian Health Ministry beforehand, and apparently, the talks on the issue had taken place somewhere else and it was presented to us as a fait accompli,” Jahanpour explained.

He said there are currently enough hospital beds for patients infected with COVID-19 across the country.

“We are grateful for their help and their intention to aid our people, but we have over 10,000 hospital beds and 10,000 more post-hospital care beds, most of which are more than what we need right now; as such, a 48-bed hospital will not do much for us at the moment,” he added.

“We apologize for this, and we appreciate their act of compassion. Our people had plans to accompany the MSF team to visit our medical centers. We still welcome any humanitarian aid sent to us from any governmental organizations or NGOs,” he said.

On Sunday, the MSF sent a 48-bed inflatable hospital and an emergency team to Iran’s central city of Isfahan to help treat the patients critically ill with the coronavirus disease.

The inflatable hospital was shipped by air from the MSF’s logistics hub in Bordeaux, France, and was to be set up in the compound of Amin hospital in Isfahan. An MSF team comprised of nine emergency and intensive care unit (ICU) doctors and logisticians were to run the unit.

While Iran has been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19, its medical needs go beyond a 48-bed hospital. Officials have been calling for the removal of the sanctions on delivery of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment to Iran, saying the US sanctions are hampering the country's efforts to contain the virus.

Jahanpour said on Tuesday that the number of coronavirus deaths in Iran had increased to 1,934 and the total infections to 24,811 during the past 24 hours.

“There have been 122 new deaths and 1,762 new infections since Sunday," he said.

Jahanpour further put the number of patients who have recovered from the viral disease at 8,913.

MNA/

News Code 157003

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