EghtesadOnline: Government spokesperson Ali Rabiei on Monday announced the return of stringent coronavirus measures in Tehran and Alborz provinces to curb the fifth wave of the deadly pandemic.
“All offices in provinces of Karaj and Tehran are closed from Tuesday through next Sunday,” Rabiei was quoted as saying by IRNA.
He added, “Starting tomorrow, Tehran and Karaj will shut down for six days, three days of official holidays and three days added due to Covid-19.”
According to the official, travel to and from cities color-coded as red and orange is banned and vehicles attempting to leave the quarantine will be returned to city limits.
All shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, amusement centers and cinema theaters will be shuttered during the six-day period. Restaurants are allowed to offer only takeaway services.
The drastic measures were taken to prevent the further spread of the highly contagious Delta variant as more and more ICU units are filled to capacity throughout the country.
All hospital beds dedicated to the Covid-19 pandemic in Tehran are occupied, the province’s governor-general, Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey, announced on Monday.
“The number of outpatients, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and the death rate have surged simultaneously,” Bandpey warned.
According to the official, the four categories never experienced a rise at the same time during the previous four peaks of the disease.
The Delta variant, first detected in India, has spread to nearly 100 countries in the world, becoming the dominant strain in many regions.
Infections, Deaths Climb
The Health Ministry registered a sharp rise in infections and deaths on Monday as 25,400 cases were diagnosed and 213 people lost their lives in a single day.
The new cases were just 40 shy of Iran’s daily record during the peak of the fourth wave in April. For the second time since May, the overnight death toll crossed the 200 mark.
Iran is speeding up its vaccination drive to reduce severe cases and deaths using a combination of imported and homegrown vaccines.
More than 2.289 million residents have been fully vaccinated and 6.529 million have received a first dose, bringing the total number of shots administered to 8.818 million.
Iran’s first local vaccine, dubbed COV-Iran Barekat, has been given to 250,000 people since it received emergency use authorization, spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration, Kianoush Jahanpour, said.
In recent days, some 700,000 jabs of Barekat were delivered to the Health Ministry for distribution.
“So far, 11 million shots of foreign vaccines have been imported into the country,” Jahanpour noted. “This week, 2.9 million jabs of AstraZeneca jabs manufactured by Japan will arrive in Tehran.”
Iran began vaccinating its population of nearly 85 million people with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines in late February. It is now mostly giving out the Chinese coronavirus vaccine, Sinopharm.
Authorities lowered vaccine eligibility age to 60 last week and are inoculating people over the age of 50 in high-risk areas.
Worldwide coronavirus cases rose to 191.3 million on Monday as fatalities caused by the contagion reached 4.1 million.