Iran has banned the entry of visitors coming from twelve countries in order to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
The list of countries currently includes Botswana, Brazil, Eswatini, India, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nepal, South Africa, Uruguay, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The ban includes those who are coming, directly or indirectly, from each of these countries to Iran.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is worrying officials around the world.
The World Health Organization says the Delta variant, also known as B.1.617.2, has spread to at least 85 countries since it was first identified in India last fall.
By mid-June, the Delta variant accounted for 99% of COVID-19 cases in the UK, according to Public Health England, and it is set to account for 90% of cases in Europe by the end of August, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimates the variant accounts for 26% of new COVID-19 cases — or at least, that it did as of June 19. It’s been reported in all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C.
It accounted for 10% of lineages as of June 5, meaning its prevalence more than doubled in just two weeks.
“Delta is the most transmissible of the variants identified so far,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, said Friday.
The virus carries a cluster of mutations, including one known as L452R, that helps it infect human cells more easily.
“We learned this virus, a variant of Covid, is highly transmissible — the most transmissible we’ve seen to date,” US Surgeon-General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN Wednesday.