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EghtesadOnline: Iran has finalized an agreement with Moscow for the purchase of 60 million doses of coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, to be delivered from late spring to autumn.

Iran's Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali on Thursday posted on Twitter that the “signed and finalized” deal supplies the country with enough doses to inoculate 30 million people, nearly 37% of the population.

“We will be receiving the vaccines from May to December,” Jalali said, adding that two Iranian companies have signed deals with Russia for the joint production of Sputnik V.

So far, Iran has administered only 460,000 vaccine shots during the two months since the start of the national vaccination campaign. 

Health Minister Saeed Namaki informed on Thursday that by the end of next week, 1.3 million Iranians will be vaccinated against the infectious disease, concluding the first phase of the inoculation drive that includes the vaccination of healthcare personnel, disabled veterans and the elderly with severe pre-existing conditions.

According to President Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s homegrown coronavirus vaccines will not be ready for production before summer, prompting the government to import vaccines and give the green light to the private sector to procure jabs.

Triggered by the Iranian New Year holidays, the fourth wave of the disease is infecting 25,000 people a day and the overnight death toll is expected to surpass 500 in the coming weeks.


Restrictions Extended

Rouhani on Thursday renewed localized coronavirus restrictions for another week to slow the spread of the fresh wave of the deadly outbreak that has filled hospitals across the country to capacity. 

The lockdown measures extended in areas color-coded red and orange ban travel to and from those regions, require more telecommuting by office employees and close down most non-essential businesses.

Iran’s new Covid-19 deaths reached a record of 328 over the past 24 hours, up by seven a day earlier, pushing the national toll past 66,000, spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.

“Over 25,000 tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total tally to 2.194 million,” the health official said.

At least 1.7 million have recovered from the respiratory illness and some 4,600 are currently admitted in ICU units.

“Iran has carried out more than 14.1 million diagnostic tests since the start of the pandemic,” Lari said.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the world jumped to 139.8 million and fatalities topped three million on Friday. 


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