Monday, May 20, 2024

Officials caution against Omicron’s quick spread in Iran

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is quickly spreading among Iranian children, an age group that has not yet been fully vaccinated, an Iranian health official has warned.

Alireza Oliyayi-Manesh, with Tehran’s National Committee to Combat the Coronavirus, said on Wednesday that Omicron was highly transmissible and thus, the latest wave of the pandemic in Iran had peaked quickly.

“Predictions are that daily infections will reach very high levels,” he warned, adding, however, that since the Omicron variant does not engage the lungs, it is less perilous.

“The main hazard is directed at people who are not vaccinated, or not fully vaccinated,” Oliyayi-Manesh said, advising people to receive their third doses of inoculation at the earliest.

Meanwhile, another Iranian health official warned on Wednesday that the lightning spread of the Omicron variant could lead to “a grave crisis.”

Ramin Sarrafi Foroushani, a member of the Jahad-e Daneshgahi Coronavirus Committee, said that while scientific data showed that the new variant was less of a health risk, public inattention could lead to serious problems both for citizens and the administrative apparatus of the country.

He also urged officials to reconsider plans to reopen schools and public facilities, given the fast pace of the virus’ spread.

Separately, Tehran’s Provincial Governor Mohsen Mansouri said that elementary schools in Tehran Province would hold classes remotely for one week because of the quick spread of Omicron.

He said 78 percent more people were visiting medical centers compared to the last week and 61 percent more hospitalizations were taking place.

The Health Ministry announced on Wednesday over the past 24 hours, Iran recorded 59 deaths from the coronavirus, registering an upward trend compared to the recent days.

Also, 38,160 new infections were logged, taking the overall infection toll since the pandemic began in Iran to 6,446,404.

A total of 132,563 Iranians have lost their lives to COVID-19 so far.

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