Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Health ministry: BA.4, B.A5 triggering surge in Covid-19 cases in Iran

A top Iranian infectious diseases specialist has warned of an uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in Iran, blaming lax health protocols for the surge.

Dr. Mehrdad Hagh Azali, a member of the coronavirus taskforce committee, said the new subvariants of Omicron variant, BA.4, B.A5, are the leading cause of the new outbreak.

The new surge comes after Iran managed to rein in the cases and reduce fatalities to near zero for several weeks thanks to widespread vaccination and coronavirus-related restrictions.

BA.4 and BA.5 are more infectious than previous Covid variants and subvariants and evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections.

Dr. Hagh Azali warned the new surge can lead to a rise in fatalities, saying the elderly patients are more at risk of death from the new subvariants.

He called on people to stick to unrelenting health protocols and get the booster doses of coronavirus vaccine.

In an interview with Iran’s Channel 1 TV on Monday, Iranian Deputy Health Minister Dr. Kamal Heidari said the subvariants spread from the United States and Europe to other parts of the world.

He warned of the fast pace of outbreak in BA.4, B.A5, saying every patient who carries either of the subvaraints can infect up to 18 people, while Omicron-struck patients could infect 10 people.

Over 140 thousand people in Iran have died of the virus.

More than 150 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered across the country of about 85 million people. Over 64 million Iranians have received the first dose and nearly 58 million people have received the second dose of the vaccine.

Nearly 28 million people have got the third shot as the booster jab.

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