Third wave of COVID-19 looming in Iran

September 15, 2020 - 16:30

TEHRAN – The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is looming in some provinces across the country mainly as a result of reopening businesses, offices, and educational centers, Alireza Raeisi, the deputy health minister has stated.

In March, when the disease peaked, people observed health protocols well which led to a decline in new cases and deaths. In April, the disease went into control, but due to holiday trips, the rate of compliance with the protocols decreased from 78 percent in April to 17.5 percent in late May, followed by a sharp rise in mortalities and new patients, he explained.

 “In late August, the rate of hospitalizations and deaths decreased, but now, following the holidays and trips, the disease is re-emerging,” he noted.

Raeisi gave an example, saying that in Tehran, comparative statistics for the last two weeks show that the number of patients per day has increased from 900 to 1,800. In some other provinces, we are witnessing a rise, and we hope to curb it and take control over the disease.

Alireza Zali, head of the national headquarters for coronavirus control, said that new cases of infection are increasing in Tehran and it is predicted that the capital is moving towards the third wave of COVID-19; the third wave of the disease will hit the metropolis much sooner than other provinces.

The statistics over the last 72 hours show that Tehran is in a red situation, therefore the social distancing and lockdowns should be considered, he added.

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

“There is no doubt that the second and third waves of the virus will hit the country,” he stated.

During October, November, and December, there is serious concern over the new waves of the outbreak, therefore, the most important advice is to observe personal hygiene and social distancing, which is still the most important tool for controlling the virus, he highlighted.

COVID-19 mortality in Iran

In the press briefing on Tuesday, Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 2,139 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 407,353. She added that 349,984 patients have so far recovered, but 3,811 still remain in critical conditions of the disease.

In the past 24 hours, 140 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 23,453.

Lari added that so far 3,613,891 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the country.

She said the high-risk “red” zones include Tehran, Mazandaran, Gilan, Qom, Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi, East Azarbaijan, Kerman, North Khorasan, Semnan, Yazd, Zanjan, and Qazvin provinces.