Seventh COVID-19 wave on the cards for Iran

April 5, 2022 - 18:15

TEHRAN – The seventh wave of COVID-19 may hit the country as health experts warn of a rebound due to the New Year (Noruz) holidays which started March 21, ISNA reported on Tuesday.

The seventh wave is likely to occur in mid-May, as it probably takes between two to six weeks to appear, Hamid Souri, an epidemiologist said.

Regarding the formation of the seventh wave of the disease in the country, he said that "Wherever the density of contacts is higher, we are more likely to see an outbreak of the new strain, but the main foci of infection are important. At present, there seems to be a combination of omicron and Delta variants in the country.

Given the genetic changes that have taken place in BA.2 omicron, a more contagious variant; vulnerable people in the community are still at risk, and there is no evidence that the epidemic is disappearing, he further noted.

An epidemic is eliminated when the incidence of the virus in the community is limited and enters the eradication phase, he also added.

Omicron is made up of several sublineages, each of them being monitored by WHO and partners. Of them, the most common ones are BA.1, BA.1.1 (or Nextstrain clade 21K), and BA.2 (or Nextstrain clade 21L).

BA.2 differs from BA.1 in its genetic sequence, including some amino acid differences in the spike protein and other proteins. Studies have shown that BA.2 has a growth advantage over BA.1.

Studies are ongoing to understand the reasons for this growth advantage, but initial data suggest that BA.2 appears inherently more transmissible than BA.1, which currently remains the most common Omicron sublineage reported.

Referring to the reopening of educational spaces, he said that the existence of a care system in schools to regularly monitor the health status of students is needed so that as soon as any change is taken, the necessary measures should be taken; Therefore, we need the presence of rapid response teams in the provinces to identify any outbreak in schools.

Following the decision of the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control and President Ebrahim Raisi, all universities affiliated with the ministries of science and health, and schools, started education in person on April 3 as the new cases of the disease have notably reduced.

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