0113 GMT April 21, 2021
In an address to a meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting Coronavirus on Saturday, Rouhani called on people to refrain from planning to travel to these cities and do their shopping online as much as they can, IRNA reported.
He urged Iranian people to keep observing the health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic as vaccine production in the world is limited and its distribution is uneven.
The president warned people against underestimating the situation and continue to abide by the COVID-19 restrictions, according to Tasnim News Agency.
“People should keep in mind that the production of (coronavirus) vaccine in the world has limitations and it is not possible to produce vaccine for the entire population. In addition, the distribution of vaccine is not fair,” Rouhani noted, stressing that vaccine rollouts would not mean an end to the challenge.
He called on the Iranians to maintain the lifestyle under the pandemic for another year.
The Iranian Health Ministry has drawn up plans to restrict intercity travel during Norouz. People have been advised to stay home and exercise caution as a new strain of COVID-19, first found in the UK, is spreading in Iran.
On Friday, Iranian Health Minister Saeid Namaki said his ministry is absolutely against intercity travel during the Norouz holidays, as the period is needed to be used for the revival of the country’s worn out medical staff.
He described as extremely worrying the unrestrained travel, which leads to the overcrowding of the roads and public places, and the rapid spread of the mutated coronavirus strains.
The minister regretted that the country’s medical staff is weakening day by day, stressing intercity travel is the most important factor and very effective in the spread of the UK strain of the virus.
Namaki said each month, 1,000 beds (a total of 11,000) are added to the country’s hospital capacity, which has been unprecedented in Iran’s history.
Amid the pandemic, Iran managed to increase the number of ICU beds at its hospitals by 2,500 in less than 45 days, he noted, adding given the critical condition in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan in terms of the coronavirus spread, 70 new beds are being added to the province’s hospital capacity.
On Saturday, Iranian Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat-Lari said 82 patients in the country died from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.
She put at 60,594 the total number of deaths in Iran since the outbreak of the pandemic in Iran in late February 2020.
Lari said the number of daily infections during the 24-hour period to Saturday noon stood at 8,212, of whom 527 were hospitalized.
The spokeswoman added the total number of Iran’s infections has reached 1,681,682, noting that of this figure, 1,435,357 patients have either recovered or been discharged from hospitals across the country.
She regretted that 3,784 COVID-19 patients are currently in critical condition in the country.
Since its outbreak, the COVID-19 pandemic has infected over 116.78 million people across the world, of whom more than 2.59 million people have lost their lives.
On Thursday, Iran received the third batch of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, said the deputy chairman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), Mehrdad Jamali, according to Fars News Agency.
He added the batch would be delivered to the health ministry officials to be sent to vaccination centers across the country.
The new batch contains 200,000 doses of Sputnik V, the jab developed by Russia and approved in Iran for the vaccination of the health staff and vulnerable groups.
Iran received the first shipment of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine on February 6. The country is expected to receive nearly four million doses of vaccine from the COVAX program.
Iran started nationwide COVID-19 vaccination on February 9 using the Sputnik V vaccine.
On Wednesday, Namaki expressed hope that the country would complete vaccination of high-risk and vulnerable groups against the coronavirus by March 20, 2021.
He added 250,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were imported a few days ago, noting that the country will receive another 1.2 million doses by March 20, IRNA reported.