Russia Sends 500 Coronavirus Test Kits to Iran

In this Sunday, March 1, 2020 photo, a medic treats a patient infected with coronavirus, at a hospital in Tehran, Iran. (Ali Shirband/Mizan News Agency via AP)

MOSCOW (TASS) — Russia has sent 800 test systems for detecting the novel coronavirus to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, Iran, North Korea, Mongolia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing said on Thursday.

“Test systems developed by Rospotrebnadzor have been handed over to the member-states of the EAEU, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia, North Korea and Iran. A total of 800 test systems for laboratory screening of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 have been sent, which will enable specialists to carry out 80,000 tests,” according to the statement.

Some 500 test systems for 50,000 tests have been given to Iran free of charge.

Earlier, the watchdog reported that Russia had supplied domestic test systems for detecting the novel coronavirus to ten countries. These systems have been developed by the Novosibirsk-based Vector State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology. They helped confirm coronavirus cases in Armenia and Belarus.

In late December 2019, a pneumonia outbreak caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus (previously known as 2019-nCoV) was reported in China’s city of Wuhan, an economic and industrial megacity with a population of 12 million.

The World Health Organization recognized the situation with the novel coronavirus as a pandemic on March 11.

Outside China, the worst affected countries are Italy, South Korea and Iran. Overall, more than 100 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.

According to the latest reports, China, which handles the bulk of cases, has confirmed around 80,700 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

The virus’ death toll has reached 3,169, yet more than 62,700 patients have recovered from the disease. The WHO says that the novel coronavirus cases globally have exceeded 118,000, with over 4,290 deaths.