Cities on Red Covid-19 Alert Rise to 55

A Health Ministry’s report marked a significant increase in Covid-related hospitalizations in 12 of the country’s 31 provinces
Cities on Red Covid-19 Alert Rise to 55
Cities on Red Covid-19 Alert Rise to 55

Over the past week, the number of cities on coronavirus red alert surged by 21 to 55, according to the Health Ministry, following nationwide school and university reopenings as well as widespread travel and social gatherings during the recent Norouz holidays. 
The ministry’s report published on Friday showed that extremely high-risk cities, coded as red, spiked by 60% to 55 and high-risk cities, coded as orange, rose from 69 to 84, ISNA reported. 
The report marked a significant increase in Covid-related hospitalizations in 12 of the country’s 31 provinces, including the heavily populated Tehran and Khorasan Razavi provinces. 
In the last 24 hours, 23 more Iranians died from the highly contagious coronavirus and 1,015 more contracted the disease. 
Dangers of traveling during the two-week holiday at the start of the New Year were mostly neutralized by high vaccine coverage across the country, head of Covid-19 Operations in the province of Tehran, Alireza Zali, said on Saturday.
“The third dose had a visible effect on Covid death rates,” he added, and once again encouraged the public to get the booster shot. 
Over 64 million Iranians have received the first dose, 57 million the second and 26.7 million have gotten all three shots since vaccination efforts started more than a year ago. 



Vaccine Exports 

President Ebrahim Raisi gave the greenlight to local Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers to export their excessive supply during Saturday’s National Coronavirus Headquarters meeting. 
The president lauded Iranian vaccine producers’ achievements and said, “These companies can take into consideration future vaccination needs and export excessive vaccines.”
The top official named neighboring Afghanistan as one of the potential markets for homegrown vaccines. 
Iran has manufactured a host of Covid-19 vaccines, including COVIran Barekat, PastuCovac, and Razi Cov Pars, either locally or in collaboration with another country, to immunize its population of 85 million people against the contagious disease. 
Deputy Health Minister Kamal Heydari said on Saturday that Iran’s stockpile of vaccine jabs had reached 50 million, enough for the whole year. 
He noted, “Homegrown vaccines have been added to the country’s vaccine portfolio. They’ve reached good production levels and obtained export permits.”
The health official stated that only 20% of the domestically produced jabs can be exported but that the figure could increase if national supplies were sufficient. 
Heydari urged everyone over the age of 18 to get the third booster shot as soon as possible, “It’s crucial to complete vaccinations before another wave arrives.”
Iran is planning to refuse public services to individuals who have not received all three shots in the near future. 
“We predict we might need another shot for the whole population, details will be announced later,” Heydari added. 
Only a handful of countries, such the UK, Germany, France and Sweden, are giving out fourth shots to the public and experts continue to debate the necessity of a fourth jab. 
Some 503.8 million people around the globe have been infected with the virus since the pandemic began and 6.2 million have lost their lives to it.

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