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Omicron makes landfall in Iran, authorities urge booster shots

A first case of Omicron coronavirus variant is found in Iran as authorities urge booster vaccine rollout.

Iranian health ministry has detected a first case of infection in the country with the Omicron coronavirus variant as authorities insist booster vaccinations should cover all adults in the country to prevent a fresh wave of the disease.

Deputy health minister Kamal Heidari said on Sunday that Iran’s top testing laboratory had confirmed a first Omicron case in the country in the capital Tehran after analyzing samples taken from an Iranian national who had arrived from the United Arab Emirates.

“This positive case is a middle-aged person living in Tehran who has arrived from the Emirates and has been immediately confined to quarantine along with contacts,” Heidari was quoted as saying by the state TV.

Head of the health ministry’s Communicable Diseases Management Centre said that tests on several other suspicious Omicron cases were being analyzed.

Mohammad Mehdi Gooya said that the Center had various diagnostic kits capable of detecting the most complicated variants of the coronavirus.

Local health officials in the province of West Azerbaijan on the Turkish border said that tests on two suspicious Omicron cases had been sent to Tehran for a final opinion.

Iran is the 86th country in the world where Omicron has made a landfall some three weeks after the coronavirus variant was detected in patients in South Africa.

The country has seen low figures of coronavirus deaths and infections in recent weeks thanks to a massive vaccination campaign against the disease.

However, a member of Iran’s Countrywide COVID-19 Committee said that the government needs to immediately roll out booster vaccinations for all adults in order to prevent a sixth wave of the disease.

“It has been proven that people who got the booster coronavirus vaccine have more immunity against the new Omicron variant,” Payam Tabarsi told the official IRNA news agency.

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