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EghtesadOnline: The number of cities on coronavirus red alert spiked by six to 22 on Monday as health authorities warned about a possible sixth wave emerging across the country.

Data updated by the Health Ministry on its Covid-19 application, dubbed Mask, showed that 22 cities are currently on red alert, 128 are color-coded as orange and 215 as yellow, ISNA reported. 

Local authorities from several western and northern provinces have raised the alarm over an increase in hospitalizations and urged the public to get vaccinated as fast as possible. 

“The emergence of the sixth wave is imminent due to the reopening of schools and universities,” Qafour Qasempour, a senior official in the province of Alborz, said on Monday. 

As more people are getting vaccinated, the government is determined for a return to normalcy by reopening businesses that could put the lives of unvaccinated people in danger. 

According to Health Minister Bahram Einollahi, 85% of patients who are losing their lives to the virus are unvaccinated. 

“The concerns for the sixth wave are due to those who have not been inoculated,” the minister said on Sunday. 

So far, Some 51 million people have received a first dose, 30.1 million people have been fully vaccinated and 62,000 of healthcare personnel have been given a third booster shot.

The Health Ministry gave out 953,000 Covid-19 vaccines in one single day, pushing the total number of shots administered to 81.3 million. 



Curfew Ineffective

The nighttime curfew placed throughout the nation has been ineffective in containing transmission rates or deterring family gatherings, head of Covid-19 operations in Tehran, Alireza Zali, said on Monday. 

“This restrictive measure has no effect in controlling the pandemic; Therefore, our recommendation is to eliminate the curfew,” Zali said.

Almost one year has passed since Iran banned nighttime movement throughout the country from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. as a way of limiting public gatherings. 

Zali noted, “We could enforce the restriction for a short period of time when hospitalizations rise, but its constant implementation is not useful.”

Tehran’s Governor-General Mohsen Mansouri also reiterated Zali’s comments about the ineffectiveness of the nightly curfew and suggested that the National Coronavirus Headquarters remove the restriction. 

Mansouri pointed out that disease containment in Tehran can lead to containment all across the nation. 

“If the coronavirus is restrained in the province of Tehran, it can be curbed all around the country. If not, we’ll witness a sixth wave throughout Iran,” he added.

Some 77% of residents of Tehran have been given a first shot and 44% are fully vaccinated. Mansouri said his first target is an 85% vaccine coverage rate in the province. 

The Health Ministry registered 140 deaths and 7,500 new infections on Monday. Since the start of the outbreak, a total of 125,000 Iranians have died from the contagion and 5.8 million have tested positive for the illness. 

Worldwide coronavirus cases rose to 244.5 million on Monday as fatalities caused by the disease reached 4.96 million. 


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