EghtesadOnline: Iran registered its largest single-day drop in COVID-19 infections since April 9 on Saturday, which brought its tally of daily cases to its lowest since March 9.
According to data compiled by the Health Ministry, Iran reported 802 new infections in a 24-hour period, down by 204 from a day before, bringing the national total to 96,448, ISNA reported.
This was the country’s sharpest drop in new cases since April 9 when the daily tally fell by 363 and its lowest number of infections since March 9 when it recorded 595 overnight cases.
During a videoconference, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said he is expecting the declining trend to endure, provided the public continue to exercise caution in daily affairs and workplaces.
Harirchi, however, warned that new infections and hospitalizations could rise in some provinces.
“I stress that this declining and stable trend is fragile and vulnerable, as any kind of negligence in gatherings, reopenings or personal hygiene can create coronavirus-related problems for the country,” he said.
Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, the head of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, also said concerns for the remaining weeks of spring have been rectified but “the next wave of infections could hit in autumn”, raising alarm about the concurrence of flu season and coronavirus outbreak.
Daily deaths due to the infectious disease held steady on Saturday, with 65 new deaths, bringing the death toll to 6,156.
So far, 77,350 patients have survived the coronavirus contagion in Iran, marking an 80% recovery rate.
More than 2,700 remain in critical condition. Iran has carried out 484,000 tests to identify patients who have contracted the deadly virus.
Final Decision on New Scheme
According to Harirchi, the coronavirus taskforce will make its final decision on details of its new scheme that has divided the country into three zones: “white,” “yellow” and “red” on Sunday.
“If approved in tomorrow’s meeting, ‘white’ zones will constitute counties where there were 14 hospitalizations or less during a two-week period or one hospitalization per 100,000,” he added.
The health official said there are 72 “red” counties across the country, where the number of daily cases or hospitalizations are alarming.
Pointing out that the status of counties will be reevaluated every 4-5 days, he said “white,” “yellow,” and “red” cities will change color in different time periods.
The coronavirus taskforce is set to relax confinement measures in counties listed as “white”.
Mohammad Mahdi Gouya, the head of Health Ministry’s center for viral disease control, said on Saturday that even in the worst-hit cities of the country, less than 10% have so far caught the virus, leaving 90% still vulnerable to the pandemic.
Worldwide infections reached 3.4 million on Saturday. The virus has claimed the lives of 240,000 since it was first reported by China in late December.