Iran Says It Sent First Exports of Antibody Test Kits to Germany

(Bloomberg) --

Iran said it has sent a plane to Germany carrying about 40,000 locally produced test kits that detect coronavirus antibodies.

Other countries including Spain, Brazil, Turkey and Ecuador have also requested the antibody test kits, according to a report on the government’s official news website, dolat.ir. It cited Behrouz Hajian, the chief executive of Pishtaz Teb Diagnostics Co., which produces the kits.

The tests are “on a par with cutting-edge standards” and have obtained “CE” certification, a European Union standard that’s required of any product sold within the bloc, Hajian is quoted as saying.

Countries around the world are racing to secure testing kits to try to grasp the truce scope of the pandemic and discover who has built up immunity. But some have stocked up on faulty tests that can’t accurately show whether someone was exposed to the new coronavirus.

Last month, the director of the Pasteur Institute of Iran, Alireza Biglari, said that several Iranian companies were producing tens of thousands of molecular diagnostic test kits each week.

At a press conference last week, Biglari said Iran is only using tests that identify the COVID-19 virus itself, rather than serological tests that detect its antibodies in the blood. He said the country was importing these in order to meet demand.

So far, almost 520,000 tests have been carried out in Iran, a nation of more than 80 million people, according to the Health Ministry. Some 6,340 people have died from the disease and nearly 100,000 are known to have been infected, according to the latest ministry figures.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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