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Health Ministry Authorizes Tehran PCR Center

CEO of the Petroleum Industry Health Organization (PIHO) Habibollah Samie has said that the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education has authorized the operation of Tehran’s PCR center.
“This center is currently active at the PIHO Tehran hospital and we can have similar laboratories across the city,” he said.
Samie said PIHO was ready to operate a PCR center in Assaluyeh, adding: “Of course it depends on the allocation of sufficient fund by the Pars Special Economic Energy Zone (PSEEZ), which according to initial estimates, would amount to IRR 20 billion for the purchase of buildings, equipment and other necessary materials. As soon as the fund is provided, PIHO would take necessary action for launching this center.”
He touched on the purchase of ventilators and their installation at PIHO-affiliated hospitals and healthcare centers, saying: “The Board of Directors’ decision was adopted and the process of purchasing 20 ventilators is in its final stages. These ventilators would be distributed in the areas where they are needed and the capacity of hospital beds would increase.”
 
Petchems Required to Renew Agreement
 
Samie underlined the requirement for petrochemical companies to pay for the per capital healthcare costs for their staff. 
He said that petrochemical companies would receive no sum in case they fail to have their agreements renewed for the second half of the year. 
Samie said petrochemical companies owed PIHO more than IRR 800 billion for the first half of the year, adding that no payment had been made.
Noting that it was the sole source of income for PIHO, he said: “Half of petrochemical companies in Mahshahr had paid their debts for last calendar year, but they are still benefiting from the PIHO services. PIHO’s agreement with these companies was up to September. Therefore, PIHO is ready to renew its agreements in order to continue providing services. However, naturally, we cannot continue offering services in case of non-renewable of contracts.”
Samie called on public and private companies to pay their subscription fees for healthcare services on schedule in a bid to support PIHO against the backdrop of the current covid-10 crisis.
 
Downward Trend Temporary
Samie referred to the downward trend of infection with covid-19 in southern provinces in Iran, saying: “Fortunately, the number of hospitalized patients at PIHO-affiliated centers has dropped. About 80 are hospitalized now, including 30 in Tehran.”
“Of course, we expect to see the number of patients rise in coming weeks because despite recommendations by Health Ministry officials for delaying unnecessary travels, it did not happen and we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in travels during recent vacations,” he said.
 
Making Up for Shortages
 
Samie also touched on shortages of masks at hospitals and healthcare centers affiliated with PIHO.
“PIHO centers are currently struggling with face mask shortages. Therefore, we are seeking to purchase mask manufacturing apparatuses. Although some companies can supply us such apparatuses, they refuse the terms and conditions of PIHO on letters of guarantee and participation in bids,” he said.
“Therefore, petrochemical and private companies accepted to cooperate with us and they are to purchase this apparatus,” he said.
Samie also said that ventilators would be also purchased for two hospitals without having to go through tender bids.
 
Flu Shot Not Recommended to General Public
 
Samie also referred to ongoing controversy about the flu vaccine, saying flu shot was not recommended to general public.
“Mainly those aged over 65, children, diabetic, asthmatic, cardiac, renal and pancreatic patients and those who suffer from immunodeficiency should get the flu shot. Second, this vaccine does not create any immunity against the coronavirus and it has not been proven that anyone getting the flu shot would be safe against covid-19,” he said.
Samie said PIHO had communicated with the Ministry of Health on flu shot ration, adding that the health ministry policy was to consider no allocation for any organ. 
“However, we are following up on the issue so that if any rationing is to take place, we would be able to receive for the ministry of health, staff, retirees and those who are exposed to danger,” he added.
 
Covid-19 Vaccine Immunity Unstable
 
Regarding covid-19 vaccine development, Samie said: “Russia, China and the US claim to have produced this vaccine, but none of them, specifically Russia, have launched mass production and won World Health Organization approval. Global distribution of this vaccine is impossible.”
“People should not imagine that this vaccine would be definitely helpful and effective and would create sufficient immunity. Rather, everyone has to respect health instructions and protocols including wearing face covering, respecting social distancing and regularly washing hands,” he said.
“Surveys show that 20% of covid+ patients would be re-infected after recovery. Therefore, it should not be believed that this vaccine would bring about full immunity,” he said. 
 
We Owe Health Professionals
 
Samie also heaped praise on healthcare professionals, saying: “We owe them so much. We have not been able to appreciate them for their relentless efforts.”
He said that it was not possible to offer gratitude to physicians and nurses who have been doing their best ever since the coronavirus broke out.
“Some nurses at PIHO hospitals have said that the Ministry of Health has raised the salary of nurses, but I regret to say that it is not possible for us now. However, I hope that we would be able to take a small step for helping them in the near future,” he said.
“I can feel how tired they are. Our staff need more attention in order to have sufficient motivation for continuing to work. That would help us provide appropriate healthcare services to them, particularly those living in oil operation areas,” he added. 
 
Oct 3, 2020 16:44
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