Marked Increase in Covid Infections, Deaths

The upward trend in Covid outpatient visits and hospitalizations is more than likely to persist this week as new Omicron subvariants spread throughout the country
Marked Increase in Covid Infections, Deaths
Marked Increase in Covid Infections, Deaths

Sunday’s tally of active Covid cases and fatalities saw a drastic rise as 717 new patients were identified and six people died from the disease. 
Compared to Saturday, mortalities surged from zero to six and infections climbed from 250 to over 700, ISNA reported data released by the Health Ministry. 
The upward trend in Covid outpatient visits and hospitalizations is more than likely to persist this week as new Omicron subvariants spread throughout the country.
“It’s highly possible that we’ll continue to see a rise in coronavirus cases this week,” a senior member of the national science committee against the coronavirus, Masoud Younesian, said on Sunday. 
The health expert was referring to a report published by the Health Ministry last weekend, marking a threefold surge in Covid outpatient visits and hospitalizations, compared to a few days earlier. 
Weekly data clearly indicates a rise in infections, Younesian noted. 
“It’s not unexpected that the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants can soon become dominant strains in our country,” he added. 
The extremely contagious subvariants were first detected in South Africa in January and February. They have now rapidly spread to the United States and Europe. 
Mutations in BA.4 and BA.5 variants enable them to elude antibodies produced by coronavirus vaccines but it is still unclear whether they can cause severe disease. 
Younesian pointed out that he and his team were also looking at statistics provided by regional nations to predict another peak in Iran. 
“Over the past few weeks, there’s been a rise in cases in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Emirates, Iraq, Bahrain and Turkey,” he said. 
According to him, it was safe to assume that given the Covid surge in the US as well as neighboring nations, Iran will also be soon affected by the new wave. 



Covid Vaccinations

Younesian stated that 20-25% of Iranians eligible to receive a Covid shot have refused to get it and 30-35% have only been administered one dose. 
“We call them vulnerable populations,” he said. 
The epidemiologist noted that a new vaccination campaign should target these vulnerable populations, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. 
“Ideally, if we are to give out booster shots, it should be a vaccine related to the new variants,” Younesian said. 
BA.4 and BA.5 variants have become the dominant strain in the US, where regular screening is carried out throughout the country. 
According to Younesian, Iran has not increased testing and the numbers released by the Health Ministry cannot be fully trusted for an accurate forecast. 
None of Iran’s cities have been placed on red alert but the number of cities coded as yellow are on the rise and blue or safe cities are dropping. 
Over the past ten days, 16 new patients were detected in Iran every hour, which showed that active cases had doubled compared to an earlier ten-day period.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints