The growing number of Covid-19 patients in Iran has prompted the Health Ministry to announce new restrictions in the country while several provinces are deemed "red zones.”
Expressing worries over the resurgence of the pandemic across the country, the spokesman for Iran’s Covid-19 taskforce, Abbas Shirozhan, said on Saturday that four cities are now "red," 14 cities are categorized as "orange,” and 142 cities as “yellow.”
Shirozhan called on the people to use masks, especially in the cities with higher numbers of people infected with the virus.
Last week, the Health Ministry announced that the number of people hospitalized due to Covid-19 complications has tripled, as new variants are about to sweep across the country.
Masoud Younesian, the secretary of the epidemiology and research committee of the national coronavirus taskforce, said on July 1 that two new subvariant of Omicron, namely BA4 and BA5 -- which started in the African continent -- may soon prevail over the country.
Iran’s homegrown Covid vaccine factories are shutting down for lack of demand as many vaccinated with foreign vaccines refuse to get homegrown ones as boosters.
According to the latest official figures, nearly 65 million Iranians have had one dose, 58 million two doses but only 27 million have had a third shot of the vaccine. Vaccine imports stopped a few months ago and the only vaccines available for a booster now are homegrown variants.
The number of deaths in Iran since Covid-19 began has been 300,000 higher than in previous years, suggesting pandemic deaths may be more than officially reportedfigure ofaround 141,000 deaths.