87% of COVID-19 victims in Iran have underlying illnesses, obesity

June 22, 2020 - 16:52

TEHRAN – About 87 percent of those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19 in Iran had been diagnosed with obesity and underlying illnesses, Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said.

Referring to fatalities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that obesity was one of the pre-existing diseases associated with coronavirus deaths, especially patients younger than 50.

About 380,000 deaths occur annually in the country, of which 313,000 are due to non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, and obesity, he stated.

COVID-19 in Iran not controlled yet

Hossein Erfani, the Health Ministry’s director of the infectious diseases department, said that the epidemic has not yet reached the level of control in Iran.

It is unlikely to access vaccine until the next year, so the only possible way is to change the lifestyle and social behavior of the public, he added.

'Second and third wave' of coronavirus looming

Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, head of the Food and Drug Administration, said in May that the nation needs to prepare for a 'second and third wave' of coronavirus in October and November until a vaccine is developed.

Because of the complexity of the nature of the virus, it is no easy to develop a vaccine that would turn the tide against the virus, he said, adding, “No specific medicine has been identified for the disease. At the same time, there is no vaccine, but in different countries, including our country, scientific research is being done on its production,” he noted.

He went on to say that Iran is among the top three rankings in the field of coronavirus research projects. “In the field of medicine, all the drugs that so far have been proposed in the world, and raised hope to treat the disease, are produced and studied clinically in the country, and we are taking steps along with the developed countries of the world.”

The number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in Iran reached 207,525 on Monday, of whom 9,742 have died and 166,427 recovered so far. Over the past 24 hours, 2,573 new cases of people having the virus have been identified, and 119 died, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said.

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