In remarks at a televised speech on Tuesday, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said the presence of the new strain of the coronavirus in Iran does not mean any new panic, urging people to observe the health protocols more strictly.
The minister said the first carrier of the mutated coronavirus is an Iranian national who has returned home from the UK.
The new variant of coronavirus was detected after a long process of screening, he added, saying the patient had been admitted to a private hospital and was tested positive with the mutated strain after several procedures.
The patient is currently in good health conditions, the minister noted.
The passenger has acted quite wisely after arriving in Iran and has self-isolated despite holding a negative PCR test result upon arrival, Namaki said, noting that the new strain of COVID has not been detected in any of the people in contact with the patient.
He further dismissed reports about another case of the mutated coronavirus in the western provinces, saying a physician suspected of being infected underwent several tests and more than 240 people in contact with that doctor were also screened, but there was no trace of the new strain.
He also hailed the Islamic Republic’s success in lowering the daily death toll from COVID-19 to a two-digit number after months, saying only 98 coronavirus patients have died over the past 24 hours, although even one single death is still too much.
Namaki finally noted that the decline in the coronavirus fatalities is a result of unwavering efforts of the healthcare personnel and the medical society.
Iran on Tuesday confirmed 98 new deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the lowest figure since June 20, 2020, increasing the overall death toll to 55,748.