EghtesadOnline: Iran’s tally of daily coronavirus cases hit new highs on Monday amid the fifth wave of the outbreak with the Health Ministry logging a record 31,800 infections and a two-month high of over 300 deaths.
For the first time since the start of the pandemic in February 2020, Iran’s daily cases crossed the 30,000 mark, taking the national tally to 3.723 million, ISNA reported.
The ministry also registered 322 fatalities on Monday, the highest daily toll since mid-May, pushing deaths across the country to 89,122.
The fifth wave of the disease, triggered by the Delta variant, has placed some 232 cities on red alert and overwhelmed hospitals with an influx of patients.
Head of Covid-19 operations in the capital of Tehran, Alireza Zali, told reporters he expected the upward trend to continue for another week.
“We’re on red alert. My estimation is that the circumstances will remain the same until the end of next week,” the health official said.
According to him, the majority of patients who require hospitalization this time around are between the ages of 50 and 60, the oldest unvaccinated age-group in the country.
So far, 8.1 million Iranians have received the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine and 2.4 million have been fully inoculated, bringing the total number of vaccine injections to 10.5 million.
As more vaccine shipments arrived into the country, authorities lowered vaccine eligibility age to 58 to immunize those most vulnerable to the contagion.
They have also began vaccinating individuals working in high-risk environments, such as public transport operators.
Covid-19 vaccine Soberana 2, manufactured collaboratively by Pasteur Institute of Iran and Finlay Institute of Cuba, was found to have 91.2 efficacy against worst coronavirus strains.
“Results of Soberana’s clinical trials show 91.2% efficacy against strains present in Cuba, the South African and California variants,” Alireza Biglari, head of Pasteur Institute of Iran, said.
He added, “These are some of the worst coronavirus mutations and most vaccines cannot be effective enough against them.”
The institute has delivered 130,000 shots of Soberana 2, locally known as Pastu Covac, to the Health Ministry for distribution.
Iran is also producing the highly effective Russian Sputnik V inside the country.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Sunday that the safety and efficacy of Iran’s test batch of Sputnik V vaccine had been confirmed by the Gamaleya Research Institute, part of Russia’s Ministry of Health.
Iran can produce two million shots of the Russian vaccine on a monthly basis.