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Iran hopes to end fifth wave of coronavirus as hospitalizations flatten

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran hopes to end the fifth wave of coronavirus with flat hospitalization rates reported in 14 provinces.

Iranian health ministry officials say they have received reports of flat hospitalization rates in nearly half of 31 provinces as they hope the country could end a fifth wave of coronavirus infections that is causing  record number of deaths each day.

Deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi said on Tuesday that there were initial signs suggesting that coronavirus cases and deaths could decline from peaks seen in recent days amid the rampant surge of the Delta variant of the virus in Iran.

“The infection and hospitalization rates are stable in 14 provinces and coronavirus situation is on the decline in these regions,” said Haririchi as he insisted that deaths from the virus could continue to increase within the next several days before it starts to drop.

The official made the remarks while visiting Kerman, one of the hardest-hit provinces in Iran by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

He said that the number of coronavirus patients in Kerman, a province in Iran's southeast with just over three million people, who needed intensive care had surged to nearly 2,000, an increase of 60% against November last year when Iran was grappling with another wave of the virus.

Harirchi estimated that an average of 220,000 people in Iran catch the coronavirus every day as he insisted that tests carried out across the country only expose less than a fourth of the total infections.

Health ministry figures announced on Tuesday showed that a record number of 625 people had died from the cronavirus in the country from a caseload of 50,228 reported over the past 24 hours.

Number of vaccinations against the disease increased to nearly 20.5 million on Tuesday while the number of people fully vaccinated against the disease reached over 4.7 million.


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