Omicron Surge Looms Despite Lull in Covid Infections

Omicron Surge Looms Despite Lull in Covid Infections
Omicron Surge Looms Despite Lull in Covid Infections

Iran Omicron cases may peak in three to four weeks despite the sharp decline in Covid-19 infections and mortalities in the past few weeks. 
The Health Ministry logged 1,120 newly identified cases on Saturday, the lowest daily tally since April 2020, as 21 provinces reported zero or one death, ISNA reported.
Despite the drop, secretory of the national Covid-19 science committee, Hamidreza Jamaati, urged faster vaccinations and observance of protective measures. 
The official pointed out that Omicron cases could double in 1.5 to three days and warned, “Iran could face an Omicron peak within the next few weeks or at most a month.” 
Formally known as B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has disrupted global holiday travel as many countries reimpose quarantine measures. 
The highly contagious mutation can evade immunity developed by Covid vaccines. 
Jamaati said, “According to research, booster shots can be as much as 75% effective against Omicron.”
The Health Ministry has ramped up the offer of booster jabs since last week when Iran detected its first Omicron case in a middle-aged man who had recently traveled to the United Arab Emirates.
“All people over the age of 18 should attempt to get a third shot in the following weeks to develop enough immunity,” Jamaati said. 



Vaccination Coverage

Health Minister Bahram Einollahi said on Saturday that Iran’s high vaccination coverage rates has given him hope against the Omicron variant of Covid-19. 
“We have one to two golden weeks. The new variant will usually explode three weeks after the initial infections,” the health official said.
Einollahi once again emphasized the need for wearing facemasks and following social distancing rules.
The total number of doses administered throughout Iran rose to 116 million on Saturday, up by 446,000 shots compared to a day earlier. 
More than 59.4 million people have received a first shot and 51 million are fully vaccinated against the respiratory illness. 
The Health Ministry has given out booster jabs to 5.4 million people most vulnerable to the contagion.  
President Ebrahim Raisi in the meeting of the National Coronavirus Headquarters also thanked the public for rushing to receive a third shot and instructed all immunization centers to offer vaccines. 
The president also ordered his administration to tighten border control and carefully implement health protocols to prevent another wave. 
Worldwide coronavirus cases increased to 279.4 million on Saturday as fatalities caused by the virus reached 5.41 million. 

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