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EghtesadOnline: Partial lockdown measures imposed in the capital Tehran over the past week were ineffective in stemming the rising spread of the coronavirus, head of the city’s Covid-19 operations, Alireza Zali, said on Sunday.

Rebuking the incomplete execution of Tehran’s six-day shutdown, Zali noted that lockdowns should be either strictly imposed or not at all, ISNA reported.

“,” the health official added.

Faced with the fifth wave of the outbreak, the National Coronavirus Headquarters sanctioned a six-day long lockdown of provinces Tehran and Alborz to curb transmissions.

Zali said, “Strategically, the shutdown of a city should take at least ten to 14 days, otherwise it will be unsuccessful in controlling the epidemic.”

Tehran’s Governor-General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey announced on Sunday that the continuation of the lockdown is “unlikely” due to its impact on the country’s ailing economy.

The Health Ministry registered 268 fatalities and 27,000 positive cases on Sunday. According to data collected by the ministry, Iran experienced a 22% climb in Covid deaths over the past week. 

Nader Tavakoli, a member of the NCT, revealed that 60% of Tehran’s hospital beds are occupied by coronavirus patients and that the upward trend of hospitalizations and fatalities will continue for “at least another two weeks.”

Zali also said that Iran is yet to reach the peak of the fifth wave, estimating that the number of hospitalized patients in the city of Tehran will increase to 9,000 in coming days.



Vaccine Imports

The Health Ministry is scrambling to speed up vaccine rollout to prevent severe cases and deaths among those infected with the highly contagious Delta variant, now the dominant strain in Iran and many other countries.

Another shipment of coronavirus vaccines arrived in Tehran in the early hours of Sunday containing 1.095 million jabs of the Chinese Sinopharm.

The new batch was the 9th vaccine shipment procured by the Iranian Red Crescent Society in recent weeks, Karim Hemmati, head of the organization, said.

On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi expressed gratitude to the government of Japan for a sizeable donation of nearly three million AstraZeneca jabs. 

Over one million shots of the vaccine entered the country on Saturday and the remaining 1.8 million doses are to arrive on Friday. 

Following the rise in vaccine deliveries, the Health Ministry on Saturday lowered vaccine eligibility age to 58 to immunize those most vulnerable to the deadly virus.

It also extended vaccine eligibility to university professors, school teachers, public transport operators, and patients over the age of 18 suffering from diabetes or rare diseases.

So far, 7.8 million Iranians have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and 2.394 million have been fully vaccinated, taking the total number of shots administered to over 10 million. 

Iran has imported some 13 million vaccines from various sources in the past six months.

HIGHLIGHT: A health official lamented that the shutdown passed while malls, shopping centers and restaurants were open and many traveled



COVID-19 lockdown