1219 GMT August 15, 2022
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed the need to tighten controls to curb a new massive wave of COVID-19 infections and fatalities in the country.
Speaking at a Saturday meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, Rouhani said that statistics show that most Iranian provinces are on the way to see a peak in the number of COVID-19 cases amid the fourth wave of the pandemic, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The country’s number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations reveal that the situation is worrying, the president noted, adding, “We have no option but to tighten controls” in the coming weeks.
He also urged the need to set up special teams to control and monitor the situation and to increase compliance with the health protocols.
“Sadly, the level of observing health protocols is below 60 percent, while it must be above 90 percent,” Rouhani added.
Warning against the Indian variant of the coronavirus, the president said the country’s people are at present faced with another danger, according to IRNA.
He added the Indian strain is worse than the UK, Brazilian and South African variants, noting that if it enters the country, “we will face a big problem”.
India travel ban
On Saturday, the commander of the Operational Headquarters of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, banned all direct or indirect passenger travel or goods transportation to or from India until further notice, according to IRNA.
In a letter to Iranian Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami, the interior minister added the decision has been made as per the president’s directive and a request by the Health Ministry.
He called for the immediate implementation of the necessary measures in this regard.
The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Saturday that the total number of COVID-19 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in late February 2020 has surpassed 69,000.
Providing Iran’s latest COVID-19 statistics, the Health Ministry’s spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Saturday that the pandemic claimed 374 lives over the past 24 hours.
She put the exact COVID-19 death toll in Iran at 69,120, adding the overall number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in the country surpassed 2,377,000 after the detection of 18,230 new cases since yesterday.
Over 1,863,400 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or been discharged from hospitals across Iran, Lari said.
Among those currently undergoing treatment in Iranian medical centers, 5,156 are in critical condition, she regretted.
The spokeswoman also said more than 15 million coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in Iran, and over 584,700 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
On Friday, the Health Ministry announced that 301 cities in the country are coded red (very-high risk), while 95 cities are categorized as orange (high-risk) in terms of the coronavirus spread, 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 45 and seven, respectively.
As per a decision by the anti-coronavirus task force, since April 10, Iranian red and orange cities have entered an initially two-week-long partial lockdown to control the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.
The number of people infected with COVID-19 across the world has surpassed 146 million, with the death toll exceeding 3.1 million.
Comprehensive vaccination system
In addition, the spokesman of the national anti-coronavirus task force said on Saturday that Iran will soon launch a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination system, in which the country’s people can register their information such as job and underlying diseases — if any, and know when they would be given the jab.
Speaking to IRNA, Alireza Raeisi added the people would be able to know about their vaccination date as of late July.