Call for Nationwide Shutdowns to Counter Delta Variant Onslaught

Call for Nationwide Shutdowns to Counter Delta Variant Onslaught
Call for Nationwide Shutdowns to Counter Delta Variant Onslaught

Spokesman for the National Coronavirus Headquarters Alireza Raeisi urged for strict nationwide lockdowns to contain the fast-spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus.
“A stringent nationwide shutdown needs to be imposed, nothing like the last shutdown,” Raeisi was quoted as saying by IRNA on Sunday. 
Last week, the NCH reinstated lockdown measures in two key provinces of Tehran and Alborz for six days to stave off the fifth wave of the pandemic but reports suggest that the partial closures had aggravated the situation. 
“Maybe we can deceive ourselves, but we cannot deceive the virus. We need a strict nationwide shutdown,” Raeisi said. “Anyone that violates can be sure they have taken someone’s life.”
The highly transmissible Delta variant has placed 285 cities across the country on red alert and overwhelmed hospitals. The mutation has spread to 29 of Iran’s 31 provinces and risen coronavirus weekly deaths by 38.2%.
Raeisi said, “We have an upward trend in 29 provinces and we haven’t reached the peak of the disease.” 
According to the official’s estimates, the number of patients, hospitalizations and mortalities will continue to rise for another two to three weeks.
The Health Ministry logged a further 366 deaths on Sunday which took the national toll to 90,996. Daily infections climbed to 32,500 again after dropping to under 20,000 on Saturday, bringing the outbreak’s case tally to 3.9 million. 




Raeisi noted that in addition to the strict implementation of nationwide lockdown measures, vaccination is key to breaking the chain of transmissions. 
Pointing to the increasing number of vaccine shipments arriving into the country, Raeisi said, “We ask of those in the announced age groups to get vaccinated.”
“We have invited those over the age of 55 for vaccination but more than 30% have not yet registered,” he added.
The health official warned that 90% of hospitalized patients over the age of 70 had failed to get inoculated. Studies have shown that vaccination can significantly reduce the chances of severe symptoms and death. 
So far, 9.9 million Iranians have received the first dose of a Covid vaccine and 2.7 million have been fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of shots administered to 12.6 million. 
Iran has received nearly 15 million jabs from various sources since the start of its vaccination campaign in February. Some seven million more doses will be delivered to Tehran before the end of August.
Worldwide coronavirus cases jumped to 198.7 million on Sunday and fatalities from the outbreak rose to 4.2 million. 

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