Tehran(ANN)-Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Murashko have stressed the importance of enhancing joint efforts in the fight against the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
The two health ministers held a videoconference on Tuesday about ways to strengthen Tehran-Moscow cooperation to contain the COVID-19 spread following a phone call between Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin last month.
During the videoconference, Namaki hailed Russia for providing Iran with aid amid the outbreak said, “It is necessary for Iran and Russia to further increase cooperation and exchange experience in the fight against the coronavirus.”
He also called on regional states to double their efforts to boost the fight and keep up trade exchanges while observing health protocols.
He added that Iran’s precautionary measures such as social distancing and gradual re-opening of shops have played a key role in containing the disease and reducing the number of deaths.
Namaki praised the good level of healthcare cooperation between Tehran and Moscow in recent years, calling on both sides to take more steps towards promoting their relations in other areas, particularly in research and medical sectors.
Iran, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the pandemic, has managed to contain the rate of COVID-19 infection mainly relying on home-grown efforts for producing treatment and diagnostics as the country continues to suffer from a series of US sanctions that hampered its access to imports of medicine and vital medical equipment.
Washington has even attempted to block a request by Iran to the International Monetary Fund for an emergency loan that the country needs to contain the pandemic.
Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the public relations and information center at the Iranian Ministry of Health, said on Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic claimed the lives of 48 people in the country over the past 24 hours with the death toll standing at 6,733.
He added that 1,481 new cases have also been confirmed in the country over the past day, raising the overall tally to 110,767 people.
The official said that 88,357 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals so far, while 2,713 patients infected with COVID-19 are still in critical conditions.
The Russian health minister, for his part, outlined his country’s measures to fight against the coronavirus outbreak, particularly controlling border areas, equipping hospitals and announcing health protocols.
Murashko said Tehran and Moscow should boost cooperation in various health and research fields given their flourishing strategic ties.
Russia has so far recorded 232,243 coronavirus cases, the third-highest total worldwide.
The country’s coronavirus response center said on Tuesday that the death toll from the virus had increased by 107 to 2,116.
Russia attributes the continued daily rise in cases to widespread testing.