Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Calls grow in Iran for tighter COVID curbs as Omicron surges

Alarm bells have been ringing in Iran over an upward trend in the number of infections with COVID-19, amid the rapid spread of the new Omicron strain, as the infectious disease claims 44 more lives in the country.

Iranian mobile application ‘Mask” issued a warning on Sunday over rising hospitalizations as a result of Omicron, despite earlier assumptions that the new coronavirus variant cannot cause serious illness. 

The application called on officials to consider two-week lockdown on non-essential “before it is too late.” 

“One of the unsuccessful experiences in the previous coronavirus waves was delaying the imposition of serious restrictions to the extent it got too late. Restrictions can be effective only if they are placed before the number of infections reach the peak,” it said. 

Health officials have said Iran is now witnessing the sixth wave of the coronavirus. 

On the country’s color-coded COVID-19 map, seven cities have once again been classified as “red,” which signifies a high risk of infection, following a period of calm, with more cities expected to get the same classification in the weeks to come. 

According to the latest figures released by the Iranian Health Ministry  on Sunday, 21,996 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total figure recorded up until now to 6,344,179. 

Out of the new cases, 1,209 people have been hospitalized in the past day, it added. 

The Ministry said 44 people also lost their lives to COVID-19, putting the total death toll at 132,424. 

Meanwhile, the country has intensified vaccinations countrywide, with officials calling on people to receive booster jabs as soon as possible. 

So far, a total of 131,617,252 doses of vaccine have been administered in the country, according to the updates.

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