EghtesadOnline: Iran’s daily death toll caused by Covid-19 surpassed 500 for the first time since the start of the outbreak as the highly transmissible Delta variant ravages the country.
The Health Ministry on Sunday reported a daily record of 542 fatalities, 9.2% higher than the last record set during the peak of the fourth wave on April 26, IRNA reported.
Daily infections also reached an all-time high of 39,600, up by 300 from the previous record established four days ago.
According to experts, the fifth wave of the disease will reach its peak in two to three weeks before it subsides.
The Delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus around the world. It has spread to over 100 nations and become the dominant strain in many.
In Iran, the mutation has placed 336 cities on red alert and overwhelmed the healthcare system.
The major concern about the deadly variant is that it can spread from vaccinated people to those still unvaccinated and cause severe symptoms and death.
3 Million Vaccinated
The number of fully vaccinated Iranians crossed three million on Sunday as Iran rushes to boost vaccine rollout to immunize its most vulnerable groups.
The Iranian Red Crescent Society on the same day imported a 12th shipment of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines containing 1.1 million jabs
Karim Hemmati, head of the organization, expressed hope that more vaccines would arrive into the country in coming days, “We can have adequate vaccination coverage by the end of the year [March].”
The Red Crescent Society has in total delivered over 14 million shots of Sinopharm to the Health Ministry for distribution.
Iran is planning to vaccinate its entire population of 85 million people by March 2022.
In addition to the three million fully vaccinated Iranians, more than 12.5 million have received the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and there are six million jabs still unused inside the country.
The Red Crescent Society has set up vaccination centers to ramp up the process. Hemmati noted that Iran will require 180 million doses by the end of the year.
Iranians are mostly getting inoculated with Sinopharm shots but a few million have received AstraZeneca jabs, the Russian Sputnik V and the country’s homegrown vaccines, COV-Iran Barekat and PastuCovac.
Around the world, over 203 million have tested positive for the illness and at least 4.3 million have lost their lives to it.