Gulf News

Covid-19 killing one person every four minutes in Iran

Tehran, 250 cities declared red zones for having highest virus positivity rates

- TEHRAN

The new coronaviru­s is killing one person every four minutes in Iran, state TV reported yesterday, a death rate authoritie­s said was sure to quicken if Iranians continue flouting Covid-19 protocols.

“This week is worse than the previous week. The situation will be much worse next week and we have very difficult days ahead,” Health Minister Saeed Namaki said.

Iran yesterday reported 321 more deaths and 25,078 cases in the past 24 hours. A banner on state TV said that amounted to a death every four minutes. Iran’s death toll is now 65,680, with over 2.1 million cases.

In some cities, the ILNA news agency reported, hospitals had run out of beds.

A 10-day lockdown was imposed last Saturday in 23 of Iran’s 31 provinces. Businesses, schools, theatres, sports facilities and other public institutio­ns have been forced to shut and gatherings are banned during Ramadan.

The capital Tehran and 250 other cities and towns have been declared red zones. They have the highest virus positivity rates and the most severe restrictio­ns in place.

Iran yesterday finalised a deal with Russia to purchase 60 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine, enough to inoculate 30 million people. Iran’s ambassador to Russia, Kazem Jalali, said Iran will receive the vaccines by the end of the year.

Iran in December began the human test phase of its homemade vaccine.

 ?? Reuters ?? ■ A man walks next to closed shops in Tehran Bazaar. Iran last Saturday imposed a 10-day lockdown in 23 provinces.
Reuters ■ A man walks next to closed shops in Tehran Bazaar. Iran last Saturday imposed a 10-day lockdown in 23 provinces.

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