Tehran Back on Covid Alert

Tehran’s governor general said 10 cities in Tehran Province, including the capital, have been declared high-risk “red” and “orange” zones

The Health Ministry has announced the emergence of a fourth wave of coronavirus infections in the province of Tehran, as local officials called for tightening restrictions to halt a rebound in cases.
“We’re witnessing a 37% surge in the number of hospitalized patients compared to last week,” an official with the province’s Covid-19 taskforce, Nader Tavakkoli, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Tavakkoli raised concerns over the return of employees to work following the New Year holidays when millions of Iranians crisscrossed the country and intensified the virus transmission.
“To fully realize the effect of the travels on the spread of the disease, we need to wait 10 more days. What is evident to us for now is that the fourth wave of the pandemic has hit Tehran,” he said.
Tehran’s Governor General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey pointed out that 10 cities in the province, including the capital Tehran, have been declared high-risk “red” and “orange” zones.
“In cities color-coded as red such as Tehran, one-third of employees are required to work from home, while in ‘orange’ cities, half of the employees need to telecommute,” Bandpey said.
The official called for the strict enforcement of the law to slow transmission rates, as hospitals began to reject elective surgeries to save the dwindling number of beds for severe cases of the coronavirus.
Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi had estimated on Saturday that two of the country’s largest cities, Tehran and Isfahan, will be placed on red alert by next week.


Three-Digit Death Tolls

Harirchi on Sunday said the daily death toll is predicted to remain above the 100 mark “for now”, making for 12% of daily fatalities in the country.
“We have 1,000 to 1,050 infections in Iran daily, so when there are 123 coronavirus fatalities in one day, that constitutes 12% of the country’s mortality rate,” he added.
Spokeswoman of Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said on Sunday overnight fatalities caused by the pandemic surged by 30% compared to a day earlier, claiming the lives of 161 patients within one day and taking the national toll past 63,000.
Daily coronavirus cases have risen by over 200 to 11,680, bringing the total tally to 1.932 million, the health official said.
“There are currently 47 ‘red’ cities and 126 ‘orange’ cities across the country, and travel to and from these cities are banned,” she said.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced they are revising the criteria that influence the color-code assigned to a city to include factors such as the mutated Covid strain.
The British variant of the coronavirus is reported to be highly contagious, spread across western areas of Iran and moving toward the east.
Iran has administered more than 13.11 million diagnostic tests since the start of the pandemic, Lari said.
“Over 1.65 million have recovered from the respiratory illness so far and over 4,000 remain in critical condition,” she said.
The number of worldwide Covid-19 infections neared 131.5 million on Sunday and the pandemic’s death toll reached 2.86 million.

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