EghtesadOnline: Iran’s fatalities from the novel coronavirus crossed 6,500, as the national tally of confirmed cases topped 104,000, health officials announced.
The death toll rose to 6,541, up by 55 on Friday and the number of infections reached 104,691, up by 1,556 from the previous day, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour was quoted as saying by ISNA.
The health official noted that out of the 1,556 new coronavirus cases identified in the past 24 hours, two-thirds displayed mild symptoms or were in close contact with a Covid-19 patient and the others required hospitalization.
Jahanpour said, “The screening process is gaining traction by the day. The identified cases are more than in the past and we can even detect and test asymptomatic patients now.”
He added that the death rate has been declining and infections show a downtrend in every province, except the southwestern Khuzestan.
However, Alireza Zali, the head of the national taskforce in charge of the outbreak in Tehran, said on Friday that the Covid-19 cases are on the rise in all regions, except the province of Tehran.
He explained, “The reason we don’t see the same pattern in Tehran is that businesses reopened here one week after other provinces.”
Zali expects a shift in Tehran’s coronavirus numbers in the coming days.
The official said, “Tehran is still a ‘red’ zone. We are still dealing with the first wave of cases. Unfortunately, the haste in easing confinement measures has changed a major part of our estimate.”
More than 2,700 people are in critical condition. So far, 83,837 have recovered and been discharged from hospitals. Iran is among the top five countries with the highest recovery rates.
According to Jahanpour, Iran has carried out more than 558,000 coronavirus tests since the pandemic was discovered in the central city of Qom nearly three months ago.
Entrance tests for undergraduate and graduate programs or any other exam related to “people’s future” will not be canceled, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi told a reporter in Semnan on Friday.
He said, “The exams will be held while abiding by health protocols. We have made arrangements for [regulating the passage of students] at the exam centers’ entry and exit doors.”
Harirchi also said schools and universities in zones other than “white” were the first places to close and they will be the last to reopen.
To prioritize the relaxation of social distancing measures, the coronavirus taskforce divided Iran’s counties into three zones based on their tally of hospitalizations, “white”, “yellow” and “red”.
Schools in “white” zones will reopen classes in the coming days.
The deputy health minister said final decisions on holding vigils on nights marking the martyrdom of Imam Ali (PBUH), the first Shia Imam, will be announced on Sunday, in the coronavirus taskforce meeting chaired by President Hassan Rouhani.
Harirchi said, “It is too soon to hold many of the holy rituals. We should not expect the country, the holy rituals and the gatherings to return to normal any time soon.”