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EghtesadOnline: After a nearly 50-day streak of double-digit daily coronavirus deaths, Iran on Monday logged 108 fatalities, its highest single-day toll since early January.

“The national coronavirus death toll reached 60,181,” spokeswoman of Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA.

The ministry also recorded 8,510 freshly identified infections, an 80-day record in daily cases, bringing the total number to 1.639 million.

The National Coronavirus Headquarters is yet to announce details of travel restrictions during the fast-approaching Norouz, the Iranian New Year holidays spanning from March 21 to April 2.

“Since the British strain has spread throughout the country, it’s too early to decide on Norouz trips,” spokesman of taskforce, Alireza Raeisi, said, adding that a spike in patients, hospitalizations and deaths could warrant travel bans across the nation.

The mutated virus, first seen in Britain, is highly contagious and has been linked by British scientists to a higher risk of hospitalizations and deaths.



More Sputnik V on the Way

Raeisi said on Monday Iran will receive 200,000 more doses of Russian-developed Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, by early next week.

Pointing to the 250,000 vaccine shots donated by China, he said, “Based on our estimations, we’ll receive 900,000 doses of Covid vaccines through COVAX in two weeks.”

COVAX is a global initiative led by World Health Organization and the GAVI Alliance, aiming to secure fair and equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines for low- and middle-income countries.

“COVAX’s vaccines will arrive in the country every 10 days, until it reaches 4.2 million doses in April,” Raeisi added.

According to the health official, Iran has also purchased 200,000 shots of a vaccine manufactured by India’s Bharat Biotech, although the company has not submitted efficacy data to the country’s drug regulator committee.

“Starting summer, we’ll be able to administer 20 million shots a month,” he said, explaining that Iran’s homegrown vaccines will reach mass production by the first month of summer.

The Pasteur Institute of Iran is jointly producing a coronavirus vaccine with Cuba and two local companies have so far launched human trials.

Lari noted that 1.399 million Covid-19 patients have recovered from the respiratory illness and 3,727 remain in critical condition, hospitalized in ICU units.

“Iran has carried out 10.91 million diagnostic tests across the country since the virus was spotted,” she said.

Global coronavirus infections rose to 114.7 million on Monday and the death toll reached 2.54 million over one year after the pandemic emerged.


coronavirus COVID-19