EghtesadOnline: The number of people infected with the new coronavirus fell below 1,000 on Monday for the first time in over a month, while the death toll saw a relatively sharp rise from a day earlier.
According to Health Ministry’s statistics, 991 people were diagnosed with the coronavirus disease called COVID-19 on Monday, the first three-digit figure in 36 days.
With the new casualties, the total number of infected cases across the country reached 91,472.
“Over 432,000 diagnostic tests have been conducted in the country so far,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour was quoted as saying by IRNA.
The fatalities, however, increased to 96 on the same day, marking a sudden rise from 60 deaths on Sunday and bringing the total national toll to 5,806, according to the data.
“So far, 70,933 patients recovered and have been discharged from hospital, while 3,011 people with COVID-19 are in critical conditions and under [intensive] care,” Jahanpour said.
60 Counties Have “Red” Status
The Health Ministry also announced that 60 counties, out of about 450 in Iran, have a so-called “red” status with a high rate of infection.
Iran’s coronavirus taskforce has split the country into three zones: “white” regions have reported no new coronavirus cases in two weeks, “yellow” zones with a moderate number of infections and “red” zones where the spread of the virus is alarming.
“There are 60 counties with the highest rates of infection, which include all 31 provincial capitals,” Deputy Health Ministry Alireza Raeisi said in a press videoconference on Monday.
Around 116 counties have also been declared “white”, he added, implying that they reported less than one patient per day over a two-week period.
“The rest of the counties are ‘yellow’ zones that can turn into ‘red’ with a few new infections,” he added.
Raeisi noted that the red zones do not have a similar pattern and range from five to 35 patients per 100,000 residents.
This, he said, makes up a huge population compared to white zones that host a total of 15 million people.
“This means that the majority of the country’s regions are still grappling with the viral infection. We need to keep fighting seriously and avoid thinking that the situation has normalized.”
According to Raeisi, the Health Ministry is now concerned that the pandemic may become an ordinary affair for the public, in which case the serious outbreak could resurface.
“I call on the public to avoid thinking that we can contain the disease without observing health protocols and social distancing,” he said.