EghtesadOnline: Following two days of falling fatalities, Iran logged its highest single-day spike in coronavirus deaths as the country’s most populous province declared a state of emergency, heath officials said.
“For the fourth time in July, Iran on Tuesday broke its previous record with 235 daily deaths, up by six from the latest all-time high,” Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
On the same day, Tehran Province, home to the country’s capital, was put on red alert for the first time since it started to face a second wave of infections.
“Tehran, as the most populated and most visited province in the country, is in a red state for the first time after the first wave,” Lari said, calling for stricter lockdown measures.
The health official added that daily hospitalizations were nearing disastrous figures during the first peak of the lethal outbreak in March.
“Certain high-risk places of business and entertainment centers were ordered to close when Tehran was in an alarming state. The loose restrictions have been extended for another week,” the head of Tehran’s coronavirus taskforce, Alireza Zali, said, making any form of public gathering illegal.
Pointing to the capital’s overwhelmed hospitals, Zali said in a televised interview that “684 patients were admitted to Tehran’s hospitals over the past 24 hours.”
According to Zali, 640 were also discharged during the same period, which means incoming patients outnumber the recovered.
Tehran’s city officials continue to demand more stringent measures to tackle the viral infection, including remote working for all employees and the removal of Tehran’s restricted traffic zone that would allow the public to commute with personal cars, instead of public transit, which account for at least 25% of transmissions.
Preparation for Influenza
With autumn and winter approaching, Iran’s health officials are scrambling to prepare for the concurrence of the influenza season with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Deputy Health Minister Qasem Janbabaei said hospitals will be instructed to keep 25-30% of beds empty in case of an emergency in fall and winter.
“We are planning to add 13,000 hospital beds in one year, half of which will be ready in the coming months,” Janbabaei said.
Another Health Ministry official said Iran will import 8-8.5 million doses of the influenza vaccine in the near future. The first batch, including some two million vaccines, will arrive into the country by late August and September.
The Health Ministry placed three more provinces on red alert on Tuesday, bringing the total to 15, along with 11 provinces in an alarming state.
Iran registered 2,667 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus, 63% of whom were hospitalized, bringing the national tally to 296,273, Lari said.
Iran has administered 2.38 million diagnostic tests since the pandemic began, 257,000 have recovered from the deadly disease and 3,902 are in serious condition, the highest number of severely ill Covid-19 patients over the past few months.
Worldwide infections soared to 16.67 million on Tuesday and the death toll reached 657,000.