Two women in Baghdad, Iraq, wear facemasks as a precaution against coronavirus on February 25. (Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

WHO Mideast Official: Active Surveillance Key to Coping with Coronavirus (AUDIO INTERVIEW)

Dr. Dalia Samhouri says Iran – where deputy health minister is now a patient – apparently was on lookout for influenza when confronted by outbreak

Iran has been making headlines of late for numerous reasons, whether it has to do with tense relations with the United States or the recent parliamentary elections that appear to have favored the country’s hardliners.

But now it is in the news for coronavirus, not only over charges of late and diverging reports on confirmed cases and deaths, but also because it was reported on Tuesday that the country’s deputy health minister has tested positive and is under quarantine.

To learn more about the overall coronavirus situation in the Middle East, The Media Line spoke with Dr. Dalia Samhouri, manager for emergency preparedness and international health regulations for the World Health Organization’s Eastern Mediterranean region.

Samhouri reports that nine countries in the region have reported coronavirus cases. She adds that Iran apparently was geared up toward testing more for influenza when it experienced its first cases, saying that active surveillance is the key to best handling the current outbreak there and elsewhere.

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