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EghtesadOnline: A majority of provinces in Iran are seeing a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases and related deaths, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said.

Harirchi on Monday announced that only a handful of provinces are reporting an increasing number of new coronavirus patients, ISNA reported.

According to Financial Tribune, the official noted that “infections in six provinces are experiencing a gradual uptrend”, without naming the provinces.

Harirchi noted that some provinces have neither seen a rise nor a drop, and they are reporting linear numbers, one example being Isfahan, a popular tourist destination in central Iran.

The deputy health minister added on a hopeful note, “We have made key decisions in today’s meeting and we are expecting to see a downtrend by imposing more safety measures.”

Iran added 1,617 patients to its tally of infections on Monday, the number reaching 73,303. The number of deaths saw a slight decline, adding 111 deaths, down by 5 from the day before, which brings the national total to 4,585, ISNA quoted Health Ministry’s Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour.

At the current rate, Iran will surpass China’s COVID-19 cases in six days.

Jahanpour said, “So far, 275,427 coronavirus tests have been carried out in more than 100 laboratories verified by the Health Ministry.”

Nearly 46,000 patients have been discharged from hospital and 3,877 remain in critical condition. Iran has one of the highest recovery rates in the world.



Threefold Strategy 

According to Harirchi, the Health Ministry has devised three main tactics to contain the spread of the deadly virus. 

“The first strategy is the implementation of Smart Distancing. This means that people should know that the stay-at-home policy remains intact and they should not leave home for unnecessary reasons,” he said.

The deputy health minister noted that the second approach in the fight against the respiratory illness is the identification of asymptomatic patients.

“Roughly 80% of cases experience mild or no symptoms at all and they can spread the virus by moving around and our efforts are aimed at an early detection of such patients,” he said.

Harirchi further said the third strategy is to identify and isolate those who have been in contact with a coronavirus patient.

Iran has launched a pilot program in the northwestern province of Zanjan to identify and isolate anyone in close contact with COVID-19 patients. The program will expand to other provinces, if the results in Zanjan are satisfactory.

According to the World Health Organization, currently 70 vaccines are in the pipeline, as the world races to contain a contagion that has infected 1.86 million people and killed over 115,000. 


New Iran Provinces Decline COVID-19 Cases Corona Deaths