Iran’s outgoing president, Hassan Rouhani, has warned that the country will fall victim to yet another wave of coronavirus infections if authorities fail to stop the more transmissible Delta variant.
“It is feared that we are on the way to a fifth wave throughout the country,” Rouhani said at a coronavirus taskforce meeting.
The outgoing president urged governors and regional health officials to closely monitor the situation on the ground in accordance with Iran’s four-tier color-coded scale, where areas with the highest infection rate are classified as red.
“Unfortunately, today we are seeing an acute situation in the southern and some other provinces due to the spread of the Delta variant of the virus,” Rouhani said, warning that the number of ‘red’ cities will increase if health protocols are not followed.
Iran was hit by the three waves of the coronavirus last year, with the fourth wave arriving around early April.
The country’s capital, Tehran, has been listed as ‘red’, among other areas, according to AFP.
The spokesperson for the national coronavirus taskforce, Alireza Reisi, was quoted by IRNA news agency as saying that 92 cities are currently listed as ‘red’. He added that 183 are listed as ‘orange’ and 173 as ‘yellow’, which are the second-highest and third-highest tiers respectively in terms of the spread of the virus.
The Iranian government reported that 127 patients died from COVID-19 on Friday [July 2, 2021], with the overall death toll growing to 84,516.
More than 12,860 “cases” were recorded on Friday. Overall, Iran has had over 3.23 million infections since the start of the pandemic.
Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei receives 1st dose of domestic vaccine to honor country’s scientists
Iran’s supreme leader has received his first dose of the vaccine COVIran Barakat after expressing his strong preference to receive the domestic vaccine to honor the country’s scientific prowess.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was vaccinated with Iran’s COVIran Barakat vaccine on Friday [June 25, 2021].
Despite being advised to receive a shot earlier, Khamenei chose to wait for the Iranian vaccine to be produced and approved: “I was being urged to use vaccine earlier. First of all, I was not eager to use non-Iranian vaccines. I said I would wait so… God willing the vaccine will be produced inside the country and I use our own vaccine.”
The supreme leader also documented his historic vaccination on Twitter. A montage of images shows the leader donning a protective mask in front of the Iranian flag, and being vaccinated. Another image shows a vial of COVIran Barakat in high definition.
Khamenei also thanked the Iranian scientists for producing a vaccine with such “prestigious capability,” and used the hashtag #ProudlyIranian.
I am truly grateful to all those who used their knowledge & experience & made scientific & practical efforts to provide the country with such a great, prestigious capability, i.e. the #CovidVaccine.#ProudlyIranian pic.twitter.com/NzOgP1VoEW
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) June 25, 2021
A video of his vaccination was also uploaded to Twitter.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) June 25, 2021
Ayatollah Khamenei’s vaccination comes after the announcement from the president of Iran’s Academy of Medical Sciences (IAP), Seyed Alireza Marandi, that the Supreme Leader would soon be vaccinated.
Marandi also said the Supreme Leader wanted to wait to receive the Iranian COVID vaccine when people in his age bracket, over 80, became eligible for vaccination.
The Iranian authorities approved the use of Shifafarmed’s COVIran Barakat on June 13 as the country grappled with high infection rates and deaths.
Based on preliminary trials in late February, the vaccine boasted a reported efficacy of 90%.
Khamenei banned COVID vaccines from the US and UK for use in Iran in January, slamming them as “untrustworthy” in a live televised speech.
However, Iran later purchased doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine through the COVAX scheme and approved its use. Other approved vaccines include Russia’s Sputnik V, India’s Covaxin, and China’s Sinopharm.
Iran and Cuba have been working on a joint venture vaccine, Soberana-02, which the Tehran Times called “one of the most successful vaccines in the whole world.”
However, it’s efficacy in trials is only around 62%.
Current data indicates that only 1.1% of Iran’s population is fully vaccinated.