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China's Red Cross Team Confident in Contributing to Iran's COVID-19 Response

2020/03/10

Since Iran reported its first case of COVID-19 on 19 February, there has been an upsurge in confirmed cases, making Iran one of the most seriously affected countries outside China. In the early morning of 29 February, a volunteer group of medical experts sent by the Red Cross Society of China arrived in Tehran to assist Iran's response.

The expert team observed that Iran applies the same testing standards as China and most of its testing kits are from China. WHO and China's Red Cross Society have shared China's experience with Iran. Such efforts have received recognition from WHO and support from Iran's Health Ministry.

When asked about the case fatality rate in Iran, which seems to be relatively high, the expert team said that it was indeed the case when the outbreak began. But Iran has since taken measures such as setting up special hospitals and treating patients in designated facilities to increase the success rate of rescue efforts. Many patients have been cured and discharged from hospital. The expert team believes that the case fatality rate will further drop as the Iranian government and people heighten the priority of the response and as doctors increase clinical experience and therapeutic solutions.

The expert team mentioned the shortage of medical supplies in Iran, including testing kits, personal protective gear, ventilators and other medical equipment. China has donated medical supplies to Iran through the Red Cross Society of China and other channels. Additional types and amount of such supplies may arrive in Iran in the near future. By adapting China's experience to its national context, Iran has, in a relatively short timeframe, put in place an integrated prevention and control system to support its response at the current stage. Still, given the unique circumstances of each country, success in one country can only point the others in a general direction. It is essential that each country comes up with a tailored response and finds a path that works for itself.

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