EghtesadOnline: The recent rise in coronavirus cases in Iran pushed its total death toll to over 17,000 on Sunday, as the country’s tourist hotspots reported a surge in infections.
“Within a 24-hour period, 208 more Iranians lost their loves to the viral outbreak, taking the country’s death toll to 17,190,” Heath Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Over 2,680 were diagnosed with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, bringing the tally of cases to 309,437.
In the past 10 days, 106 Iranians have caught the contagious virus and nine have died every hour. Data gathered by the Health Ministry also indicated that 87 recovered from the respiratory illness per hour.
Lari singled out the northern Mazandaran Province and the western Lorestan as two badly-hit regions and cautioned against travel to the virus hotspots.
“Coronavirus infections and hospitalizations have doubled in Mazandaran over the past six weeks. The spike is deeply concerning, so we are asking the public to refrain from traveling to Mazandaran,” she added.
The spokesman noted that the first epicenter of the contagion in Iran, the holy city of Qom, is once again seeing a spike in cases.
Lari once again urged people to wash hands frequently, wear facemasks and observe social distancing rules to curb the spread of the outbreak.
According to Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the Health Ministry’s Public Relations Office, Iran spends on average $875 on every coronavirus patient and the figure rises, depending on the severity of a patient’s illness and whether they require hospitalization in ICU.
No Pre-Purchase Plan for Vaccine
With news coming out that several countries around the globe have pre-purchased large quantities of coronavirus vaccines under development by pharmaceutical companies, Health Minister Saeed Namaki on Sunday said Iran will instead invest in infrastructures for “long-term development of vaccines”.
Namaki pointed out that there is no guarantee that a vaccine would build up immunity, “hence we are investing in our infrastructures and negotiating with large vaccine manufacturers”.
According to the official, a joint project is underway among the Health Ministry, knowledge-based firms, international companies and EIKO—the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order—a charity organization with multi-sector business holdings.
“We are building a long-term infrastructure for the development of human and livestock vaccines for future use,” he said.
Iran has administered 2.5 million tests since the start of the pandemic to identify infectious patients. Some 4,089 are hospitalized in intensive care units in critical condition and 268,000 have so far recovered from the infectious disease.
Around the world, the contagious disease has infected 18 million and killed 690,000. Some 11.3 million have also recovered.