Saturday, February 4, 2023

Iran’s health sector on alert as 8th wave of Covid-19 begins to rage

The Iranian Health Ministry orders all hospitals and health facilities to make preparations to face an eighth wave of infections with the coronavirus, driven by new sub-variants of the Omicron strain.

Deputy Health Minister Hossein Farshidi said three sub-variants of Omicron have so far been detected in the country over the past days, namely BQ1, XBB, BA5.

He warned against the lightning speed of the new sub-variants’ spread, stressing the need to monitor and control borders to detect suspected patients.

Farshidi said the new wave of infections started on Saturday and is expected to reach a peak across Iran within four to six weeks.

The official urged the public to receive booster shots against the disease.

Shahnam Arshi, who heads the Infectious Diseases Management Department of the Health Ministry, said Saturday that the new wave of infections is expected to be less severe than the previous ones.

According to the latest Health Ministry figures, most Iranian cities are currently categorized as “blue” or “normal” on the country’s Covid-19 tracking map, but the number of cities with various degrees of infection risk is expected to rise sharply in the coming weeks.

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