EghtesadOnline: Iran’s death toll from the virus known to cause COVID-19 neared 6,000 on Wednesday, roughly accounting for 2.7% of global fatalities from the disease in 210 countries and territories that have so far reported the infection.
The second worst-hit Middle Eastern country recorded 80 overnight deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total to 5,957, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Iran has so far reported 93,657 infections, up by 1,073 from a day earlier. Nearly 74,000 of the patients have recovered and 2,965 are in critical condition.
Jahanpour added, “Iran has carried out 453,386 coronavirus tests.”
President Hassan Rouhani in his weekly Cabinet meeting emphasized that there is no timetable for the end of the pandemic.
“We need to prepare ourselves for work, knowledge, science and research in the society, based on the assumption that the virus will stay with the people for a while,” he said.
Rouhani says there is no timetable for the end of the pandemic, hence it is necessary to prepare for work, knowledge, science and research in the society, based on the assumption that the virus will stay with the people for a while
The president once again asked people to observe health protocols and exercise caution.
Rouhani added, “If the errand is unnecessary, stay at home. But if it’s necessary, leave home but return as soon as possible.”
The president pointed out that during the health crisis, Iran has been self-sufficient in the production of ventilators, facemasks and medical equipment.
Call for Caution in All Three Zones
Rouhani also expounded on the government’s scheme to divide the country into three zones: “white” zones that have reported no new coronavirus cases, “yellow” zones with a moderate number of infections and “red” zones where the spread of the virus is alarming.
He said, “‘White’ zones do not mean that health protocols should no longer be complied with. Health advice must be respected even more seriously in these zones.”
The “white” zones will be allowed to reopen religious sites and hold Friday prayers.
Rouhani added, “We need to make efforts to turn ‘yellow’ and ‘red’ zones into ‘white’ ones.”
According to Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi, 116 counties have been declared “white,” implying that the regions have reported less than one patient each day in a two-week period.
Data compiled by the Health Ministry indicate that nearly 80% of Iranians live in areas listed as “red” or “yellow”.
Rouhani concluded that the responsibility for not contracting the virus lies with the people, noting that there is no vaccine or treatment for the respiratory illness yet.
The confirmed global COVID-19 cases exceeded 3.15 million on Wednesday, with the death toll reaching 218,000.
While some parts of the United States and Europe have begun to relax lockdown measures, there is mounting concerns about poverty-stricken African countries that are just beginning to face the first wave of infections and war-torn countries such as Yemen and Syria that are not medically equipped to meet the challenge.