EghtesadOnline: Fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic crossed 13,000 on Monday, as Iran’s daily death rate increased steadily over the past three days.
At least 13,032 have lost their lives to the respiratory illness, up by 203 compared to a day earlier, ISNA reported, in approximately five months since the outbreak began to ravage the country’s hospital system.
Following the resurgence of the contagion in major parts of the country, officials once again postponed national university entrance exams, only days before students were scheduled to compete for entry to Master’s and PhD programs.
The tests will be held with a nearly three-week delay, according to an announcement by the National Organization for Educational Testing on Monday.
The nationwide exams were moved from mid-spring to summer to avoid public gatherings in the midst of the pandemic’s peak, but the government’s premature lifting of lockdown disciplines led to record daily jumps in fatalities in the early days of summer, prompting the Education Ministry to delay the consequential tests once again.
“Some 2,350 contracted the infectious disease in a 24-hour period, taking the tally of cases to nearly 260,000,” Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said during her daily pandemic update.
Roughly 67% of the newly-confirmed coronavirus infections had developed severe symptoms to require hospitalization.
Iran has administered nearly two million tests since the outbreak was identified in the then-epicenter of central Qom, only 13% of which returned positive based on official counts.
While the country was facing a shortage of testing kits in the early days of the pandemic, laboratories across the nation are now carrying out nearly 25,000 tests daily.
According to the Health Ministry spokeswoman, more than 222,000 have recovered from Covid-19 and 3,375 are in critical condition in intensive care units.
Lari said, “Same as the days before, the provinces of Khuzestan, Khorasan Razavi, West Azarbaijan and Mazandaran are in ‘red’ zone.”
To deploy a targeted lockdown initiative, the government classified the country into three zones based on the R value, or the average number of people an infected person can pass the disease to, if there is no social distancing or quarantine measures.
Counties with high transmission rates are marked as “red” and those with alarming rates are considered “yellow”. “White” counties were the first to see the removal of stringent restrictions.
At least 10 of Iran’s 31 provinces, including Tehran, are facing an alarming state.
An Iranian lawmaker, Isa Jafari, 59, died from the viral infection on Monday after several days of self-quarantine. Over 13 million have contracted the infectious disease and 573,000 lost their lives worldwide.