March 22, 2020 / 12:30 PM / in 7 days

French charity MSF deploys coronavirus treatment center in Iran

PARIS (Reuters) - Medical charity MSF is setting up a 50-bed emergency center to treat severe COVID-19 cases in Iran, the French organization said on Sunday.

A team of nine MSF intensive care medics will staff the facility on the grounds of the Amin hospital in the central province of Isfahan, the charity said, as Iran grapples with the worst outbreak of coronavirus in the region.

“The size of the COVID-19 epidemic in Iran is particularly worrying,” MSF said, citing the country’s 20,610 cases and 1,556 deaths as of March 20, according to official figures.

France is already contributing to a package of medical aid for Iran alongside Britain and Germany, amid signs that the global fight against the coronavirus could help ease some diplomatic tensions. In recent days, Tehran freed a French academic in a prisoner swap that also saw the release of an Iranian engineer held in France.

Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Catherine Evans

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