1002 GMT May 13, 2021
No case of infection with the Indian strain of the coronavirus has been detected in Iran, said the head of the Health Ministry’s Center for Infectious Disease Control.
Speaking to IRNA on Tuesday, Mohammad-Mehdi Gooya added the country has the required devices and equipment for identifying the Indian variant of the virus, giving the assurance that all suspicious cases of infection with any variant are tested and examined in the country.
He noted that three suspicious cases of infection with the South African strain have so far been detected in a village in the country, saying they are under supervision and investigation.
Gooya stressed that these three individuals are not definite cases of infection with the South African variant.
Speaking to IRNA on Sunday, Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the Iranian Health Ministry’s information center and public relations office, said no case of infection with the Indian coronavirus variant has so far been detected in the country.
Speaking at a Saturday meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned against the risks of the Indian variant’s entry into the country, saying Iranian people are at present faced with another danger.
He added the Indian strain is worse than the UK, Brazilian and South African variants, noting if it enters the country, “we will face a big problem”.
Following Rouhani’s comments, 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.
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 in view of the record numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the South Asian country.
Also on Saturday, the secretary of the Operational Headquarters of the anti-coronavirus task force, Babak Dinparast, said Iran has placed a similar ban on flights and travel to and from Pakistan.
The Ministry announced in a statement on Tuesday that 462 people lost their lives to COVID-19 during the past 24 hours, bringing to 70,532 the total death toll since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in late February 2020, according to IRNA.
It added during the past 24 hours, 20,963 new COVID-19 cases were detected, of whom 3,386 patients were hospitalized.
According to the ministry, the total number of people testing positive for coronavirus in the country has reached 2,438,193.
More than 1,907,190 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals across Iran, it said.
The statement added among those currently undergoing treatment in Iranian medical centers, 5,287 are in critical condition.
It said more than 15.43 million coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in Iran and 889,554 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to people.
The Health Ministry added that currently 198 cities in the country are coded red (very-high risk), while 157 cities are categorized as orange (high-risk) in terms of the coronavirus spread, adding that based on a decision by the task force, 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 74 and nine, respectively.
As per a decision by the task force, since April 10, Iranian red and orange cities have entered a partial lockdown to control the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.