0408 GMT August 04, 2021
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said over seven million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have so far been given to the country’s people and another two million doses have been distributed, which will be administered gradually.
In an address to a Saturday meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, Rouhani added close to 17 months have elapsed since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in late February 2021 and the virus has undergone several mutations during this period, IRNA reported.
First, it began its spread in the form of the Wuhan variant, then it was the UK strain and now, the Indian one, known as Delta, is the main variant infecting people across the country and globe, he said.
The Indian variant, Rouhani noted, which entered the country through the southern and eastern borders, has been spreading to the central provinces over the past few weeks.
He regretted that provincial reports show the number of hospitalizations has been increasing in certain provinces, such as Kerman (southeastern Iran), Mazandaran (northern Iran), Hormuzgan (southern Iran), Sistan and Baluchestan (southeastern Iran) and even Tehran.
The president added the pandemic has had negative impacts on the country’s transportation and tourism sectors and led to the closure of sport complexes, schools, universities, religious places and businesses.
Rouhani also said compliance with the health protocols has dropped to 48 percent, which is a very low figure as it must stand at between 85 percent and 90 percent.
He gave the assurance that up to seven million doses of COVID jabs will be imported in the coming days, saying a number of the doses of the homemade vaccines will also be available in a few days.
Rouhani added, close to 10 million doses of COVID vaccines are expected to be made available in the next two weeks, which would be administered in two to three weeks.
He expressed optimism that his administration would manage to vaccinate all people over 65 years of age and patients suffering from underlying conditions by the end of its term in office (August 3).
Rouhani said at present, people aged over 60 and 50 are receiving the jab in some provinces.
He expressed hope that the ground would be prepared for the reopening of schools and universities in the country in late September, following the inoculation of teachers and students.
In the meantime, Mohammad Mokhber, the head of the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO), said his headquarters has produced three million doses of its COVID vaccine, known as COVIran Barekat, over the past month.
He added the doses are being delivered to the Health Ministry on a weekly basis, noting that close to 900,000 doses of the jab will be handed over to the ministry by Friday.
Rejecting social media rumors about the suspended production of the jab, he said on Saturday the vaccine’s production line has no problem and is operating round the clock.
The EIKO chief added another production line will be launched in the coming weeks, following which over two million doses of the vaccine will be delivered to the Health Ministry per week.
After the inauguration of the third production line by late August, the figure will reach six million doses per week, he said.
As promised, 50 million doses of the jab will be produced by late September, Mokhber gave the assurance.
The COVIran Barekat vaccine has gone through three phases of clinical trial, the last of which involved giving the jab to 20,000 people in the cities of Tehran (northern Iran), Bushehr (southern Iran), Shiraz (southern Iran), Karaj (northern Iran), Mashhad (northeastern Iran) and Isfahan (central Iran).
Iran on Thursday received more than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, said the secretary-general of the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS).
Mohammad Hossein Qosian Moqaddam added the sixth batch of the COVID-19 vaccines, containing 1,142,800 doses, arrived at Imam Khomeini International Airport, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The arrival of this consignment increased the total number of foreign vaccines imported by the IRCS to more than seven million doses, he added.
Last month, Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country will become one of the world’s biggest producers of COVID vaccine by the end of the summer.
Iran has already granted emergency use authorization to the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, Covaxin, made by India’s Bharat Biotech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, developed by Russia’s R-Pharm Group, and the AstraZeneca-SKBio, made in South Korea.
The Health Ministry announced in a statement on Saturday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 175 and 15,139, respectively, in the past 24 hours.
According to the statement, the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country stand at 86,966 and 3,501,079, respectively.
It added that 4,237 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 1,725 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 3,118,348 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
It also announced that 24,968,433 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country, and 8,143,406 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered.
The Health Ministry said 169 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 166 are in the orange zone (high-risk).
Based on a decision by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, travel to and from these cities is prohibited.
The number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities are 113 and zero, respectively, according to the ministry.