0110 GMT December 09, 2022
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that according to the Health Ministry’s plan, 13 million people belonging to the country’s high-risk group will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 22.
In an address to the 223rd meeting of the Government’s Economic Coordination Headquarters on Sunday, he added that purchasing foreign COVID-19 vaccines and developing domestic ones are the top priorities of the country’s Plan and Budget Organization, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) and the Health Ministry, IRNA reported.
Stressing the importance of executing a national document setting out the country’s plan, schedule and priorities for public vaccination against COVID-19, Rouhani noted that although the path of supplying the jab is not a smooth and easy one, “we can be hopeful that, despite the limitations currently faced in the world in this regard and the [US unilateral] sanctions restricting [Iran’s] allocation of foreign currency resources, importing vaccines would become a definite procedure and gain the required momentum in a way that no inconsistencies or obstacles would be seen or encountered in its path in light of the effort and measures made and implemented so far”.
Commenting on the responsibilities that must be shouldered by different domestic organizations in this regard, he said as the government has announced that purchasing foreign vaccines and developing domestic ones are the top priorities of the country’s Plan and Budget Organization, the CBI, and the Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry has also placed on its agenda undertaking special and effective endeavors to this end.
The government’s main political priority is developing the capability to produce homemade COVID-19 vaccines, Rouhani noted, stressing that, however, by the time the country achieves self-sufficiency in developing the jab, domestic demand for the jab must be met through imports, lest time and more lives be lost.
To this end, he said, the Health Ministry has, concurrent with importing foreign jabs, signed contracts with domestic vaccine producers and made the required payments.
Turning to the damage the coronavirus outbreak has inflicted on the country’s businesses and households since its outbreak in late February 2020, he said the pandemic’s extensive damage to the economy was, like the disease itself, a widespread and global mishap and no country has managed to avoid it.
“Nevertheless, the pandemic’s economic pressure on our country and people was far greater as Iran has been battling the disease under the toughest and most inhumane circumstances the world has ever seen, created by the economic war [on our country].
Amid such tough circumstances, although Iran’s oil exports had reached their lowest levels, and the country could not receive payments for its overseas sales due to the US draconian sanctions, the government managed to take the required legal measures and increase people’s purchasing power, extend tax payment deadlines, directly pay the medical staff’s wages and salaries and help damaged businesses and households through granting loans.
The Iranian Health Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that the country’s daily COVID-19 death toll stood at 386 during the past 24 hours.
The statement added 74,910 COVID-19 patients have so far lost their lives to the disease.
It said 5,538 COVID-19 patients in the country are in critical condition.
The ministry put the number of the country’s daily COVID-19 infections at 14,141 within the past 24 hours, of which 2,044 have been hospitalized.
It said the total number of infections in the country has reached 2,654,811.
The ministry’s statement added a total of 2,109,702 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 cities 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 17,069,126 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country, and 1,655,411 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been given to people.