EghtesadOnline: Iran’s latest scheme to stem the spread of Covid-19 involves speeding up testing and isolating infected patients, Tehran’s Governor General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey said on Tuesday.
“The main objective of this plan is to trace, test and quarantine patients,” Bandpey was quoted as saying by IRNA.
According to the official, lockdown disciplines enforced in Tehran and across the country have reduced coronavirus infections.
The government ramped up containment efforts when Iran’s healthcare system began to struggle to cope with the surge in cases and hospitalizations.
The new restrictive measures ban travel to and from regions hit hardest by the contagion, place a night-time curfew on movement and close down non-essential businesses.
Starting last week, the Health Ministry started tracing patients whose tests came back positive via mobile location data, finding out that most infected individuals refuse to self-isolate.
“Tracking coronavirus-positive patients’ mobile phones revealed that only 20% self-isolated and 73% breached quarantine,” Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran’s Coronavirus Taskforce, said.
“This is like a time bomb in Tehran and it needs to be addressed,” he said.
Health officials are attempting to utilize hotel rooms to help the underclass with self-isolation so as to prevent transmission in overcrowded households.
Lockdown measures and strict adherence to safety guidelines by the public has produced “positive results”, Masoud Mardani, a member of the National Coronavirus Taskforce, told IRNA.
“The downward trend is gratifying. We need to wait for late December and January to see more effects,” he said.
On whether lockdown measures would continue for another week, Mardani said the taskforce’s executive committee will decide about extending shutdowns after reviewing reports from the Scientific Committee.
The current restrictions have been imposed for two weeks, which will come to an end on Friday. Several health officials over the past few days have stressed the need for consistency in implementing quarantine measures until the vaccine for the infectious disease becomes available in the country.
Iran recorded 13,880 newly-identified Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, taking the total number to nearly 976,000, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.
“Over the past 24 hours, 382 coronavirus patients lost their lives and the national toll increased to 48,628,” she added.
Lari noted that some 5,840 patients are in critical condition, admitted to intensive care units and 678,000 have recovered from the respiratory illness.
The world’s coronavirus tally rose to 63.69 million on Tuesday and fatalities reached 1.47 million.