By Mehdi Garshasbi

Pushing COVID-19 ‘toward zero deaths’

January 10, 2021 - 17:23

TEHRAN - The second phase of a national plan named after martyr Qassem Soleimani will start at the beginning of the next Iranian calendar year (March 20), aiming to reduce the coronavirus deaths to zero.

Some 22,530 monitoring teams have been formed within the framework of the plan since December 15 with 103,000 members, of which more than 270,000 are in contact to identify COVID-19 patients, 

The project is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, Basij, and the Red Crescent Society through which volunteer forces provide information, testing, diagnosis, referral of suspects to health centers, and offer services by visiting people’s homes.

The first phase of the plan has so far resulted in cutting the transmission chain of the coronavirus and increasing the interdisciplinary coordination, IRNA quoted Hamid Soori, an official with the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, as saying.

“Activities which are planned to be implemented to reach the goal include monitoring confirmed and suspected cases of the disease and covering all their family members and relatives with protective measures,’ he explained.

"Cities which are in the ‘red zone’ or places in which the outbreak is the worst will be quarantined and traffic will be intensely restricted.”

Better than expected

Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said that the situation of coronavirus containment in the country is better than expected contrary to forecasts, and fortunately, new cases and deaths are declining.

The coronavirus control in the country, especially in the cities where restrictions were imposed, is improving, Namaki noted.

For the quarantine of patients who are financially struggling, over 40,000 beds in hotels, and guesthouses are needed, he stated.

When the plan started, 160 cities were in the ‘red zone’, but the figure has decreased to just six in the current situation, according to the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control.

The coronavirus hit the country hardest on November 24, with 483 new cases of death. However, the death toll has been declining since December, so that 71 deaths were registered on January 10.

On December 29, 2020, the first coronavirus vaccine made by Iranian researchers, was unveiled and injected into three volunteers. 

Hossein Vatanpour, an official with the Ministry of Health, has said 16 Iranian knowledge-based companies are working on all types of vaccine platforms. One company is active in producing DNA-based vaccines, and about three others are working to make mRNA-based vaccines, he added.



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