President Hassan Rouhani's advisor has blasted the state-run television for "advertising" a device that the Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday claimed could detect the coronavirus within a radius of 100 meters.
Referring to the state- run television's report on Wednesday in which the mask-wearing Revolutionary Guard Commander Major-General Hossein Salami announced a breakthrough in detection of coronavirus, Hesameddin Ashena called the broadcast an "advertisement in a news program".
"Do not advertise vaccines, medicine, [coronavirus] test kits or unique and innovative virus detection devices that have not been approved by the Health Ministry," Ashena who is Rouhani's media advisor wrote sarcastically.
Displaying the device which consisted of several parts including a handheld detector with an antenna and a dish-like part, the IRGC commander claimed it had been tested in various hospitals and had a reliability rate of about 80%.
Len Khodrokovsky, a senior State Department advisor's tweet about the IRGC coronameter.
Iran's Health Ministry Spokesman Dr. Kianoush Jahanpur on Wednesday said the device "had not been approved yet" and required the Ministry's Food and Medicine Department's permit to be mass-produced.
Since the breakout of coronavirus in Iran in February the Revolutionary Guard has made several claims about production of masks, test kits and cures for coronavirus none of which has so far been actually put in use.
Iranian social media users have posted pictures that show a similar device being used for detection of metals, fuel and other solid and liquid substances and chemicals apparently modeled on a toy readily available in western countries. A video posted on Twitter shows the device being tested at a health facility with everyone looking baffled as it fails to detect the virus even a couple of feet away.
Jokes about the device are going viral on social media. Even the Persian-language Twitter account of the U.S. State Department has posted one which says: "It is strange that the device always beeps when it is nearing the guards. Can you next build a device for detection of jinns?"