1053 GMT May 13, 2021
Two very hard and critical weeks are ahead of Tehran regarding the COVID-19 spread and casualties, warned the head of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus in the Iranian capital as the country reported over 400 daily deaths on Sunday.
In an address to an urgent online meeting of the heads of the capital’s universities of medical sciences, Dr. Alireza Zali added the pattern of COVID-19 referrals to Tehran’s hospitals has changed as patients are suffering from severer symptoms, IRNA reported.
According to the Health Ministry, 405 COVID-19 patients died during the 24-hours to Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 66,732 since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in late February 2020.
Zali stressed the need for the acceleration of COVID-19 patients’ admission to hospitals and starting the treatment process, warning against any unnecessary transfer of the patients between medical centers.
Describing oxygen as the most critical component in treating COVID-19 patients, he said in the coming days, measures are required to be implemented to supply sufficient oxygen to the country’s medical centers and extend insurance coverage to oxygen therapy.
Zali gave the assurance that vaccination of the public and private medical centers’ staff in Tehran will be completed within the next few days.
A statement by the Health Ministry on Sunday said 21,644 new COVID-19 cases were detected in Iran during the past 24 hours, putting the country’s total number of infections at 2,237,089.
It added of the newly identified cases, 3,092 have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 1,785,358 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or been discharged from the country’s medical centers.
It was regretted in the statement that 4,766 COVID-19 patients are currently in critical condition in the country.
According to the ministry, Iran has so far carried out 14,386,423 coronavirus diagnostic tests.
Earlier, the Health Ministry announced that 257 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 129 cities are categorized as orange (high-risk), adding that based on a decision by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, travel to and from these cities is prohibited.
It put the number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities at 51 and 11, respectively.
According to the ministry, 389,266 people in the country have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with 127,594 of them having had the second dose.
Better days to come
In addition, Qassem Jan-Babaei, a deputy health minister, said with the entry of homemade vaccines into the domestic market as of late spring, the country’s situation in terms of vaccinating people against the coronavirus will improve.
He added that efforts to import vaccines will also continue.
Speaking at a Saturday meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said nearly 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be given to the country’s highest priority groups by April 23.
Rouhani added, “The first group of people, whose vaccination is very important to us, will receive the vaccine in the next seven days and, then, we will start giving the jabs to the second group.
He stressed that if the government manages to provide seven million to eight million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate those who are above the age of 65, the situation will become much different.
Rouhani said all efforts by his administration are focused on making COVID-19 vaccines available to the people of the country to alleviate their concerns about the future.