Iran Apologises to MSF over Cancellation of Mission

Iran Apologises to MSF over Cancellation of Mission

Iran’s Health Ministry has apologized for the cancellation of the mission of Doctors Without Borders team in the country who were to set up an inflatable hospital.

Kianush Jahanpour said on Tuesday that “Doctors Without Borders (MSF) was considering setting up an inflatable 48-bed hospital in one of our health centres. However, today we have over 10,000 hospital beds and 10,000 post-hospital surplus beds, so, 48 beds are of no use for us.”

He offered Iran’s apologies over the cancellation of their mission and thanked the team for their sympathetic action.

An adviser to the health minister also wrote in a tweet that there were no infectious diseases or corona specialist in the MSF group dispatched to Iran.

“[They sent] an emergency physician and a small amount of consumables that we produce inside the country. They did not bring any specific medication that would help reduce the effects of the sanctions. With tens of field hospitals set up by our Armed Forces and many hospitals empty, the presence of the team and the launch of a 48-bed field hospital is not necessary,” reads Alireza Vahabzadeh’s tweet.

Earlier, Hamidreza Jamshidi, secretary of Iran’s National Headquarters to Fight Coronavirus, said there are currently enough hospital beds for patients infected with COVID-19.

“Any moment that that the need arises, we will make use of the capabilities of international humanitarian organizations such as Médecins Sans Frontières.”

“For now, we do not need to add makeshift hospitals. We may need it in three or 10 days but we have enough beds now,” he underlined.

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. The inflatable hospital has been shipped by air from the MSF’s logistics hub in Bordeaux, France. Nine emergency and intensive care unit (ICU) doctors and logisticians were to run the unit.

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