EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said the downtrend in coronavirus infections had stopped in a number of provinces around Iran, raising concerns that the new rise could lead to a fourth wave of infections.
During the National Coronavirus Headquarters’ meeting, Rouhani said several provinces across the country have reported a halt in the downtrend in hospitalizations and infections caused by SARS-CoV-2, President.ir reported.
“In some cases, we are witnessing an increase in the patient load, especially among young adults and teenagers,” Rouhani said.
Sima Sadat Lari, spokeswoman of Health Ministry, also sounded a nationwide alarm and said, “The situation is extremely fragile and unstable all over the country.”
Urging the public to follow safety guidelines, Lari noted that the disease’s resurgence would mean the return of stringent restrictive measures.
So far, six provinces out of a total of 31 have registered an increase in patients, according to the head of the Medical Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Reza Zafarqandi.
Mass Vaccination Within Weeks
Rouhani announced that Iran will launch its mass inoculation program in a matter of weeks, noting that foreign vaccines are a “necessity” until a domestic shot is available.
Iran will receive its first shipment of coronavirus vaccines through COVAX, a global initiative affiliated with the World Health Organization aiming to secure fair access to vaccines for low-income nations.
The president said, “We have three local vaccines in the pipeline, some of them will be ready by spring and some in the summer.”
Two Iranian pharmaceutical companies, Barekat and Razi, have begun human trials for their locally-developed vaccine while Pasteur Institute of Iran is collaborating with Cuba to produce a vaccine against the contagion.
Cuba and Iran will launch the third and final phase of human trials before the New Year holidays, testing the jointly-manufactured vaccine on 30,000 to 40,000 Iranians.
The Health Ministry recorded 6,200 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Saturday, Lari was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“The newly identified patients took the national tally to 1.367 million.”
The health official further said, “Over the past 24 hours, 69 Covid-19 patients lost their lives, bringing the death toll to 57,294.”
Lari said more than 1.158 coronavirus patients have recovered from the respiratory illness and 4,100 are in critical condition.
“Iran has performed over 8.85 million PCR tests to identify infections across the country,” she added.
Worldwide Covid-19 cases rose to 98.8 million on Saturday and the number of fatalities reached 2.11 million.