0615 GMT October 05, 2022
The first definite case of infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in Iran and two suspicious patients have been identified, said the head of the Health Ministry’s Center for Communicable Diseases Control and Prevention.
Speaking in a televised interview on Sunday, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya added the positive case is an Iranian passenger returning to the country from a regional state where the new variant has spread, IRNA reported.
The passenger was diagnosed with Omicron on Saturday night, he said, adding the other two suspicious cases are undergoing the required tests, the results of which will be announced upon confirmation.
Confirming the news on Sunday, Deputy Health Minister Kamal Heidari said the detected case is a resident of Tehran who has recently returned to the country from the UAE.
He added this comes as the variant was first detected in South Africa three weeks ago and has already spread into 85 countries.
The Iranian Health Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that the country’s daily COVID-19 fatalities and infections stood at 50 and 1,968, respectively.
The ministry put the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 at 131,053 and 6,170,979, respectively.
It said 2,876 patients are in critical condition, and 304 new ones have been hospitalized.
According to the ministry, 6,004,277 people have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals, and 40,774,033 diagnostic tests have been carried out.
No city was coded red (very high-risk) or orange (high-risk) in terms of the coronavirus spread, and the numbers of yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities are 53 and 395, respectively.
The drop in Iran’s COVID casualties is mainly the outcome of the greater momentum of the public vaccination process on the back of the rise in jab imports and domestic production since the beginning of the new administration’s term in office under President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi.
The country has imported 86 batches (over 150 million doses) of COVID-19 jabs and produced a number of vaccines domestically.
The ministry said the total number of administered vaccine doses in the country stands at 113,239,941, of which 59,126,764 have been given to people as the first dose, and 50,340,978 as the second dose.
In addition, 3,772,199 people have received their third dose. From Saturday to Sunday, 420,014 doses were administered.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in Iran, the country has grappled with five waves of infections, with the last one being the greatest and deadliest of all and troubling the country until a few weeks ago. Sparked mainly due to the spread of the Delta variant, the wave caused the country to see record high daily deaths and cases of over 700 and 40,000, respectively.
The wave has subsided thanks to the increased pace of the public vaccination process.