Iran’s daily COVID-19 fatalities on Monday dropped to 34 for the first time in the past 580 days, according to figures by the Health Ministry.
The ministry put at 1,967 the country’s daily infections in a statement on the same day.
May 25, 2020 was the last time Iran’s daily deaths stood at 34.
The drop comes as until a few weeks ago, the country was grappling with its deadliest wave of COVID infections, sparked mainly due to the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, seeing record high daily deaths and cases of over 700 and 40,000, respectively.
Overall, since the outbreak in late February 2020, Iran has grappled with five waves of COVID infections. The fifth wave, however, has subsided thanks to the greater pace of public vaccination in the country on the back of the rise in imports and domestic production of COVID-19 jabs since the beginning of the new administration’s term in office in August under President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi.
Iran’s total COVID-19 death toll and cases since the beginning of the outbreak stand at 131,434 and 6,186,729.
The ministry’s Monday statement said 2,766 patients are in critical condition, and 344 new ones have been hospitalized.
It added 6,028,495 people have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals, and 41,592,984 diagnostic tests have been carried out in the country.
During Sunday to Monday, 20 provinces reported no COVID death. By Sunday, no city in the country was coded red (very high-risk) or orange (high-risk) in terms of the coronavirus spread and the number of yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities were 53 and 395, respectively.
The Health Ministry said the total number of administered vaccine doses in the country stands at 117,340,424, of which 59,592,770 have been given to people as the first dose, and 51,402,858 as the second dose.
In addition, 5,922,213 people have received their third dose. Between Sunday and Monday, 632,709 doses were administered.
The country has so far imported 86 batches (over 150 million doses) of COVID-19 jabs and produced a number of vaccines domestically including Fakhra (Defense Ministry), Noura (the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps), Razi Cov Pars (Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute), COVIran Barekat (Barakat Foundation) and Soberana 2 – or PastoCoVac (Cuba’s Instituto Finlay de Vacunas and Iran’s Pasteur Institute).
Despite the widespread vaccination and declining casualties, Iranian authorities constantly warn against the start of a new wave given the spread of the new strain of the coronavirus, known as Omicron, calling for full compliance with the health protocols.
Iran on December 19 said the first definite case of infection with the Omicron variant was detected in the country.
This was announced by the head of the Health Ministry’s Center for Communicable Diseases Control and Prevention.
Speaking in a televised interview, 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.
The passenger was diagnosed with Omicron on December 18, he said.
Confirming the news on the same day, Deputy Health Minister Kamal Heidari said the detected case is a resident of Tehran who has recently returned to the country from the UAE.
Following the announcement, the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus held an emergency meeting, discussed the issue as well as new measures and made a number of decisions.
In an address to a press conference on Monday, Gouya said 26 confirmed cases of Omicron have been detected in the country, noting that another 12 suspicious cases have been identified.