A senior doctor says US sanctions have contributed to shortages of medical equipment in Iran, which has affected efforts to contain coronavirus and treat patients.
In an interview with Khabar Online, Dr. Mohrez said the situation in the most important coronavirus treatment hospital in Iran is not favourable due to US bans. Excerpts from the interview follow.
“Unfortunately, we have a lot of shortages as a result of sanctions. Today, I was giving consultation at a section of the hospital when I found out all disinfectants there had run out. I was told that people had emptied the containers into cola bottles [and taken the bottles with them].
There is so little equipment under the current situation. Masih Daneshvari hospital, where patients confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus are kept, should have a lot of facilities, but that’s not the case; rather, due to sanctions, were are short of many supplies at a time when we do need disinfectants.
We have been under sanctions for a long time and need raw materials to produce some pieces of equipment, and we face problems when demand rises. In this year’s flu epidemic, none of the medicines were supplied on time, and we were short of vaccine, too. We are really under sanctions.
We don’t have as many problems as we did in the past, but we have been short of coronavirus diagnosis kits over this time. If it weren’t for the sanctions, all this equipment would be available.
The European company producing the diagnosis kits does not sell its equipment to Iran fearing US sanctions. The World Health Organization recently sent the kits to Iran, and after that we were able to diagnose the disease in people infected with the coronavirus.
Still, that European firm refuses to sell rapid diagnosis kits to Iran. The World Health Organization recently procured and sent the kits to Iran. We need thousands of kits to test everybody, and that’s why we should import them via the company which produces them.