EghtesadOnline: Coronavirus-related hospital visits are on the rise in the capital Tehran following the relaxation of most lockdown rules in Iran, a senior health official said on Sunday.
“The new wave of infected patients in the past two weeks has put mounting pressure on Iran’s healthcare system,” Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran Province’s coronavirus taskforce, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“The charts showing the number of hospital visits by patients with mild symptoms, those hospitalized in general wards and intensive care units as well as the fatalities are undergoing change.”
Based on data compiled by the Health Ministry, Iran has reported that SARS-CoV-2 has infected more than 103 and killed four to five people every hour in the past 10 days.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki said Iran is “still experiencing the first wave of the outbreak”. He added that the virus’s behavior varies in different parts of the country.
Namaki referred to the concurrence of the coronavirus pandemic and influenza season expected in the coming fall and said his ministry is ordering influenza vaccines ten times more than last year’s supplies.
Health officials have speculated the arrival of a second wave in the autumn with the reopening of schools and universities, as the pandemic coincides with the influenza season.
The health minister further said, “Demand for the influenza vaccine has increased exponentially in the world, but we are looking for ways to vaccinate pregnant women, the elderly and those with existing health problems.”
According to Namaki, nearly 87% of all Covid-19 patients in Iran have underlying health conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
The minister stressed that the country will have to live with the virus for “at least two years”.
Border Provinces Hit Hardest
Three of the four provinces on red alert are situated along Iran’s borders, Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.
“The provinces of Khuzestan, Hormozgan, East Azarbaijan and Kermanshah are in a state of emergency,” Lari said, adding that the government has supplied the regions, most of which are border provinces, with medical equipment and the means to tackle the outbreak.
Iran recorded 2,368 new cases on Sunday, compared with 2,322 a day earlier, taking the national tally to nearly 205,000, with the death toll rising by 116 to 9,623.
So far, over 163,000 have recovered from the viral infection. In the past 10 days, 87 have recovered from the disease every hour, according to official numbers.
Some 2,880 are in intensive care units.
Confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world crossed nine million on Sunday, with 468,000 deaths and at least 4.7 million recoveries.