News ID: 278722
Published: 0341 GMT December 27, 2020

Minister: Coronavirus figures in Iran declining amid surge in other countries

Minister: Coronavirus figures in Iran declining amid surge in other countries
Iran’s Health Minister Saeid Namaki talks with reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting in Tehran on December 23, 2020.

Iran’s Health Minister Saeid Namaki said despite the increase in the number of coronavirus infections and deaths in many countries in the world, the figures in Iran are declining.

Unlike the European and American countries, Iran is in a situation that the rate of deaths and hospitalizations in some provinces is nearly zero, and even some provinces on Saturday reported no death and even no new hospitalization, Namaki said, according to IRNA.

He added, We have no more red” city in the country and even the number of orange cities is less than yellow ones."

Red” is the highest level on the country's color-coded risk scale. Iran has opted for a color-coded system of white for low-risk parts of the country, yellow and orange for medium-risk and red for high-risk areas.


Death toll below 120


Namaki also noted that the death toll from the coronavirus dropped below 120 on Sunday for the first time in more than three months.

The Health Ministrys spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said the death toll reached 54,693 on Sunday after the virus took the lives of 119 patients from Saturday to Sunday.

The number of new cases also decreased on Sunday. The ministry registered 5,502 new cases during the same period, bringing the total number of new positive cases to 1,200,465.

At least 951,860 patients have recovered from the coronavirus infection so far or have been discharged from hospitals across Iran, the spokeswoman added.

Iran has managed to decrease the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in recent weeks following the governments imposition of tough restrictions in the country since November 21.

On Saturday, Iran also extended a nighttime traffic curfew to 330 lower-risk cities and towns in an effort to sustain a recent decline in the number of new coronavirus infections and deaths.

Alireza Raeisi, spokesman for the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus, said on state TV that a curfew running from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. – already in place in 108 "orange," or medium-risk, cities – will be extended to lower-risk "yellow" areas on Sunday.

Iran has also been trying to import foreign vaccines for the treatment of the coronavirus patients while is working on the production of a homegrown coronavirus vaccine in the country.


Homegrown vaccine


We will prove in the near future that the homegrown vaccine is better than many vaccines being produced in the world,” Namaki said.

He said Iranian scientists have done a great job by developing the coronavirus vaccine inside the country.

According to the minister, the human trial of the first Iranian vaccine for the coronavirus will begin next week, while another vaccine will be permitted to undergo trial soon after.


Vaccine imports


On Thursday, Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati said the government has found a solution to pay for foreign supplies of the vaccines amid the US sanctions.

Hemmati said he had ordered transfer of 200 million euros from CBI funds in a foreign bank for purchase of coronavirus vaccines, according to Press TV.

He said that the CBI had used two banks in Turkey and in Europe and a branch of an Iranian bank to transfer the funds from South Korea to a Swiss bank processing payments related to a vaccine scheme run by the World Health Organization.

The Office of Foreign Assets Control in the US, he added, had granted a special permit to the South Korean bank to release part of the Iranian funds that have been blocked in the country because of US sanctions.





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