0420 GMT June 19, 2021
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the number of COVID-19 deaths and infections in all provinces of the country is reflecting a downward trend after reaching a peak in the fourth wave of the pandemic.
Speaking at a meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus on Saturday, Rouhani added despite a surge in the number of infections in the most recent wave of the pandemic, the death toll did not exceed that of the third wave, meaning that the domestic health sector has become more skilled at dealing with the disease and the people have observed the health protocols more strictly, IRNA reported.
He said, “We purchased 16 million doses of vaccines from [COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access] COVAX and 10 million doses have recently been delivered. The total number of the purchased jabs will stand at 30 million doses. This is apart from the homemade vaccines. Our country is in need of domestically developed jabs.”
Rouhani described the fight against the coronavirus as a national, human and ethical concern, warning against the politicization of the issue in a bid to serve partisan purposes ahead of the June 18 presidential election.
He stressed that it takes a few weeks for the fourth wave to be over, noting that at this point, “we need to import foreign vaccines”.
“Some people have said let’s wait a little bit longer until the homemade jabs arrive and given the pressure on the country, do not buy foreign vaccines, which is not a precise comment, as it is said ‘the best vaccine is the first vaccine’.”
He gave the assurance that Iran will receive one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days, adding eight million other doses will be delivered by late May.
Rouhani stressed that to break the chain of transmission, 70 percent of the population must be vaccinated, expressing hope that this will be achieved by June 22.
Only then, it would be possible to say the virus has been controlled in terms of the fatality rate, he added.
Rouhani said as of summer, the homemade vaccines will be available for use.
Iran is working on at least four homegrown COVID-19 vaccines, of which one has entered the third clinical trial phase. The jab’s mass production is expected to begin within the next couple of weeks.
The country has also imported several consignments of vaccines, including seven shipments of Sputnik V jabs from Russia.
The Iranian Health Ministry announced in a statement on Saturday that the country’s daily death toll reflected a downward trend over the past 24 hours, decreasing to 283 from 335 a day earlier.
The statement added 74,524 COVID-19 patients have lost their lives to the disease since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in late February 2020.
It said 5,545 COVID-19 patients in the country are in critical condition.
The ministry put the number of the country’s daily COVID-19 infections at 13,576 within the past 24 hours, of which 2,026 have been hospitalized.
It said the total number of infections in the country has reached 2,640,670.
The ministry’s statement added a total of 2,092,381 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or been discharged from the country’s hospitals.
It said 46 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk) in terms of the coronavirus spread, while 263 towns are in the orange (high-risk) zones, noting that based on a decision by the anti-coronavirus task force, travel to and from these cities is prohibited.
The statement put the number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities at 139 and zero, respectively.
The ministry also announced that 16,929,609 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country and 1,548,615 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to people.