EghtesadOnline: Iran recorded on Sunday its first triple-digit overnight increase in coronavirus fatalities since mid-April, a health official announced.
The Covid-19 daily death count reached three-digit numbers for the first time in two months, adding 107 fatalities, which brought the death toll to 8,837, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Referring to the new death numbers as “painful”, Lari said, “This virus is tricky and unpredictable. It can surprise us at any moment and score goals from the corners.”
Commenting on the possibility of reimposing lockdown in case of a surge in infections, Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran’s Coronavirus Taskforce, said they measure the virus’s R rate to determine whether to bring back restrictions.
If the R rate, or the rate of transmission, exceeds one, it can rapidly spread throughout a community.
“If the R value rises above one, we might make changes to some of our decisions on the relaxation of lockdowns,” Zali said.
The head of coronavirus taskforce assured the public that in case they are forced to reimpose quarantine rules, they will turn their focus on businesses less impactful on the livelihood of the people.
Zali stressed the importance of social distancing practices in containing the contagion, noting that adherence to the measures have undergone drastic changes in the past three months, from an initial 78% to 23% in the past month and the number now stands at 18%.
The official said, “Abiding by social distancing rules in Tehran was at 62% in mid-April, but it has dropped to 11% in the past few days.”
Daily Cases Near 2,500
Over 2,470 additional infections were added to Iran’s coronavirus caseload on Sunday, taking the national total to 187,427. Nearly 860 of the new cases were admitted to hospital.
At least seven provinces are on red alert due to the high transmission rate of the deadly virus, including West Azarbaijan, Sistan-Baluchestan and Kermanshah.
According to Zali, one of the main concerns in the city of Tehran is its public transport system, as buses and the subway are jam-packed with people during rush hours.
The city’s subway moves 920,000 passengers around on a daily basis, he added.
Public transport is the number one place to catch the virus in Iran.
Iran has carried out over 1.24 coronavirus tests since the outbreak began. More than 2,780 are in intensive care units due to severe symptoms.
Nearly 149,000 infected patients have left hospitals or recovered.
Worldwide deaths from the pandemic rose above 7.9 million on Sunday and fatalities neared 433,000.