0312 GMT June 19, 2021
Iran will be able to easily import millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines in coming months and inoculate the entire population, said President Hassan Rouhani.
In an address to a weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani said domestic private firms have currently entered the field of importing the COVID-19 vaccines, president.ir reported.
He stressed, “If we give them greater leeway to import COVID-19 jabs, all individuals who are at a greater risk [in case of contracting the disease] due to old age and suffering from underlying medical conditions, will be able to be vaccinated.”
Rouhani gave the assurance that three top priority groups in the country will receive the jab by June 22, expressing hope that homemade vaccines will also soon be available, according to IRNA.
He expressed optimism that tens of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be provided to the country’s people in the future, saying Iran has sent orders to two different foreign producers for purchasing one million and 10 million doses of the jab, which will be imported soon.
Rouhani stressed that despite the difficulties the Central Bank of Iran is currently facing in terms of supplying foreign currency resources due to the US unilateral sanctions, it earlier announced that it would immediately make the payments for importing vaccines.
He said, “We have promised people to pursue our goals in the remaining three months of the present administration’s tenure. Our goals are to remove the US sanctions, control the coronavirus spread, improve people’s livelihoods and complete semifinished projects.”
In May 2018, former US president Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. Mainly targeting Iran’s oil and banking sectors, the sanctions failed to produce the desired result thanks to Iranian people’s resistance.
Rouhani added the government has so far spent over $5 billion in loans and other sorts of payments to reduce the pressure and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which broke out in the country in late February 2020, on the people and their lives.
The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Wednesday that the number of daily COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the country saw a fall on Wednesday as public vaccination is gaining momentum, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Speaking at a daily press conference on Wednesday, the Health Ministry’s spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said during the past 24 hours, 15,872 new cases were detected, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 2,591,600.
She added of the newly detected cases, 2,449 have been hospitalized.
This comes as the number of the country’s daily infections and hospitalizations stood at 20,732 and 3,009 respectively during the 24-hour period to Tuesday, according to the Health Ministry.
Lari, however, regretted that 349 patients across the country lost their lives to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, saying the total death toll from the disease stands at 73,568.
More than 2,039,000 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or been discharged from hospitals across Iran, the spokeswoman said.
Among those currently undergoing treatment in Iranian medical centers, 5,499 coronavirus patients are in critical condition, Lari noted.
The spokeswoman also said more than 16.51 million coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in Iran and over 1,115,700 people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The number of people infected with COVID-19 across the world has surpassed 155 million, with the death toll exceeding 3.24 million.