As Iran faces the worst wave of the coronavirus epidemic, commuters in Tehran flock to the country’s subway and bus systems every working day, even when images of sick people are breathing rapidly. is shown continuously on state television every night.
After being met with criticism for downplaying the virus last year, the Iranian authorities took part in a partial lock and other measures to slow its spread.
But in this country of 84 million, which is facing US sanctions, many people struggle to make ends meet.
Economic pressures, coupled with growing uncertainty about when vaccines will be widely available in the country, have left many simply forsaking social alienation, seeing it as an impossible luxury. affordable. That worries public health officials that the worst of the pandemic could still happen.
Iran is currently reporting the highest number of new coronavirus infections ever – more than 25,000 cases per day. Its daily death toll has risen to around 400, still well below the 486-person record it hit in November.
During the peak of the last spike in Iran, about 20,000 coronavirus patients were hospitalized across the country. Today, that number has risen to 40,000 people. The Health Ministry warns the number will rise to 60,000 in the coming weeks. Iran remains among the most severely affected countries in the world and the hardest hit in the Middle East.
President Hassan Rouhani blamed the current surge on a rapidly spreading variant of the virus first found in Britain, which the government said came from neighboring Iraq. Travel between countries has been restricted since March, although people continue to move back and forth every day.
Overall, Iran saw 2.2 million reported cases and 67,000 deaths.
Iran provided more than 500,000 doses of the vaccine, according to the WHO. Supply, however, is still limited.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned coronavirus vaccines made by the US and UK, saying their imports are “banned” because he does not trust those countries.
Khamenei has approved the import of vaccines from “safe” countries, such as China and Russia, while supporting national efforts to produce homegrown vaccines with help. from Cuba.