The purpose of this report is to document the negative impact of illegal and unilateral sanctions of the US administration on national response to the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It should be noted that this report has been originally prepared by the Ministry of Health and Medical Science and Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Since the beginning of the outbreak of Corona-virus crisis in early 2020, Iran like many other countries suddenly faced the challenge of providing medical supplies and equipment to prevent the prevalence of the disease. The unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) by the US have negatively affected the process of combating the prevalence Corona-virus and managing public health in Iran. On one hand, due to these illegal UCMs, the basic medical items and requirements are not easily accessible and this fact has made a serious challenge for the country in controlling the disease and protecting the health of Iranian citizens. On the other hand, these UCMs have had a multi- layer negative impact on the health of the Iranian people by targeting the vital sectors such as drug supply, medical equipment and foreign exchange resources of the country. The combination of these factors has challenged the prevention and controlling of the virus in recent months. The negative impacts of UCMs have been documented in the following four major areas;
- Procurement of medical and pharmaceutical items:
- Suspension of cooperation between supplier companies of goods and health equipment with Iran; During the outbreak until now, the following list of pharmaceutical, and medical companies have discontinued their cooperation and stopped the selling of their products to Iran due to concerns about US secondary sanctions:
- Air Liquid Medical Systems providing anesthetic and respiratory equipment;
- b) CARL ZEISS providing ophthalmological equipment;
- GETINGE providing cardiac and endoscopic equipment; and
- Monlycke Health Care AB providing advanced wound dressings.
These illegal UCMs have led not only to the increase of mortality rates as result of damage to heart, kidney, immunodeficiency, and metabolic, etc. cased by COVID-19 because of the shortage of medical supplies and equipment, but also to the increased external pressure on the country’s health.
- Disruption in securing medical, pharmaceutical equipment that are needed for the diagnosis, control, and treatment of Corona-virus due to the concerns of exporting companies about US punitive measures:
- Serious disruption in the supply of vital devices including ventilators, CT scan, dialysis, CRRT, ECMO, digital radiology, electroshock, RT-PCR, video laryngoscope, and portable ecosonography equipment as well as all personal protection equipment (N95 & three-ply masks and protective gowns).
- Disorders in the preparation and provision of Corona diagnostic tests including “primers and probes, diagnostic molecular kits, and RNA extraction kits) personal protective equipment required by laboratory staff and Screening equipment and devices.
- Disruption in the purchase of ambulances, which is a serious need of the Iran’s health care system.
- As a result of serious disruption in the above three sections, the process of timely diagnosis and identification of Corona -virus carrier and patients, isolation and treatment of carriers and patients, and finally curbing the spread of the disease have been faced with serious delays and challenges. The Lack of personal protective equipments has endangered the health of health care personal and medical staff, and exacerbated the disruption of national campaign against Corona.
- Serious disorder in providing pharmaceuticals (including Remdesivir & Favipiravir and other medications required for covid-19 treatment) used for in-patients treatment corona-virus (including in hospital or at home) and other drugs for the research and treatment of Covid-19.
- Erosion delays and lack of timely access to spare parts, repair and service of vital medical equipment such as ventilators, MRIs, CT scans machines, etc.
- No delivery of vital medical supplies on time and assign delivery those vital items to irrational time under the impact of oppressive and illegal US sanctions (varieties of ventilators, dialysis filters, oxygenators, infant and children’s oxygenators, CT scan machines, minus-80-degree freezers, and diagnostic kits have failed to be operationalized due to the unfair and inhumane sanctions,
A list of the afore-mentioned companies is as follows:
“EBIT GENERAL TRADING registered in Canada,
-BAZTER registered in Swiss,
– RESMED registered in Australia,
– ARIES SUN TRADING registered in UK,
– YADRO registered in USA,
– HOLDING LIMITED registered in UK,
-TAICHI registered in Japan,
-HOFFRICHTER registered in Germany,
– SORIN registered in Milan – Italy,
– AUSTROMENA is registered in Swiss,
-WORLDWIDE RESOURCE GROUP LIMITED registered in China.
- Reducing government revenue sources under influence of UCMs and their negative impacts on the health care system
- Shortage of foreign exchange resources due to oil sanctions and oil exports is amongst the negative impacts of UCMs which have affected the provision of supplying medical items and equipment and reduced the purchasing power of public and private health companies.
- The money transfer problem resulted from suspension of cooperation between international companies with Iranian companies.
- US opposition to Iran’s request for financial assistance from the World Bank to respond to COVID-19.
- Restricting the national airlines and disrupting the timely transportation of medical supplies; The US government’s sanctions on Iranian airlines have disrupted the process of direct imports of medical requirements and, slowing down the country’s fight against corona-virus.
- Cutting off scientific cooperation; Restrictions on access to comprehensive medical databases such as (Pub Med) for the Iranian medical community. Due to transferring Pub Med server to Google access to online databases has been impossible for the Iranian research and medical community.