0705 GMT September 18, 2021
Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi discussed with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin the continuation of cooperation between the two countries in the production of Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine.
In a phone conversation on Tuesday, the two sides also expressed hope to meet in the near future, IRNA reported.
Raeisi said Iran pursues expansion of cooperation with Russia in all fields.
He also stressed the necessity of continued collaboration between the two countries in the fight against the coronavirus, including in the field of vaccine production, noting that such cooperation is required to continue at full strength until the complete eradication of the pandemic.
The Russian president noted that he is in quarantine due to a probable contraction of COVID-19, calling for arrangements for a future meeting with his Iranian counterpart at the earliest opportunity.
Commenting on the two sides’ cooperation in the battle against the virus and also joint vaccine production, Putin emphasized the importance of continuing such efforts.
Iran has already imported several consignments of COVID-19 vaccines, including batches of Russian Sputnik V doses. Russia has launched a production line for manufacturing the vaccine in Iran.
Iran’s COVID casualties
Iran’s Health Ministry announced in a statement on Tuesday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 408 and 22,329, respectively, in the past 24 hours.
The statement added the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 stand at 115,167 and 5,340,656, respectively.
It added that 7,123 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 3,436 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 4,627,027 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
The statement added that 30,445,641 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country, and 37,866,551 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered, of which 1,229,203 doses were given to people during the 24-hour period to Tuesday.
The Health Ministry said 168 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 209 are in the orange zone (high-risk).
The number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) cities is 71, according to the ministry.
Iran has been grappling with a fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic since a few weeks ago, mainly sparked by the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant, known as Delta, seeing a resurgence in deaths and infections.