After two weeks of 70 percent of the city being locked down, the alert level in Tehran was downgraded from red to orange on Saturday, December 5. The change meant that traffic on thoroughfares and on city streets increased, mainly due to the fact that many businesses have been allowed to reopen since the capital is no longer on the highest alert.
Mohsen Hashemi Rafsanjani, president of Tehran City Council, reported that, in the 24-hour period spanning December 5 and December 6, 100 people in Tehran had died from coronavirus. He said, based on this, he believed the city should still be on high alert. Dr. Alireza Zali, director of the Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce, warned that the situation in the nation’s capital was not stable. On Saturday, December 5, President Rouhani warned that Tehran was “on the verge” of returning to a red state of alert. Nevertheless, the traffic in Tehran had returned to the way it had been two weeks before, prompting fears of another surge in the number of infections.
In less than a week the number of daily Covid-19 fatalities in Iran fell to less than 400 from close to 500 and, on December 6, it was 294, although the number of confirmed cases had risen. Health officials claim the increase is due the fact that more coronavirus tests are being carried out.
The Fall Could be Followed by a Rise
Nevertheless, health officials continued to voice concern. “During a pandemic, a fall in the number of infections might be followed by a stronger return of the contagion,” said Dr. Alireza Zali. “Therefore, both the people and the officials must be on guard because coronavirus is still claiming victims in Tehran. The city is contaminated by the virus and the virus is still conquering biological trenches. From an expert point of view, we are still relatively far from the ultimate downfall of the contagion.”
According to Nader Tavakoli, deputy director of Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce, the number of hospitalizations in Tehran had fallen from over 6,000 in previous weeks to around 4,000.
3,000 Vehicles Fined
During the 14 days when extensive coronavirus lockdowns were implemented in many cities, traffic across the country fell by 40 percent, reported Ahmad Shirani, head of the Center for Highway Traffic Information and Control of the National Police. According to him, between November 21 and December 5, approximately 300,000 drivers were fined for driving in banned areas or during the curfew, which was in place between 9pm and 4am. Depending on the type of violation, drivers have been fined 200,000 tomans ($49), 500,000 tomans ($122) or one million tomans ($244).
Domestic Vaccine? Perhaps in Summer 2021
Dr. Minoo Moharez, a member of the National Coronavirus Taskforce’s Scientific Committee and the leading scientist in the project to develop a domestic Covid-19 vaccine, reported that the vaccine had recently received a permit from the Food and Drug Administration to start testing on humans. If results in this phase prove to be as successful and as promising as they were during animal testing, the vaccine could go into production by the middle of next summer. According to her, the vaccine had been 70 percent effective in tests on animals. She added that a foreign-produced coronavirus vaccine is unlikely to arrive in Iran until next summer.
The production of drugs to treat coronavirus symptoms in Iran has increased tenfold, claimed Heydar Mohammadi, director general of the Food and Drug Administration’s Drugs and Controlled Substances Department. He said that Iran was even ready to export some coronavirus treatment drugs.
He also reported that currently more than 500,000 vials of Remdesivir are used and consumed in Iran each month. A large number of these, he said, are produced domestically but, because of the increase in the number of hospitalizations in recent weeks, some of the Remdesivir had to be imported.
Reports from various provinces show that, on average, the number of coronavirus fatalities and hospitalizations has fallen compared to the previous week.
In the last 24 hours in Kurdistan, 71 more patients were hospitalized, bringing the current number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients in the province to 398. The major share of hospitalized patients, 254, are in the provincial capital of Sanandaj. In addition, 95 of the hospitalized patients are being treated at ICUs. In the same 24 hours three more patients died and the death toll in the province now stands at 970.
In Kermanshah, over the last 24 hours, 95 new patients were hospitalized and 113 patients were discharged from hospitals following their recovery. Currently, 554 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized across the province. With the death of another nine patients in the last 24 hours, the official death toll from Covid-19 in the province had reached 1,314 by December 6.
In Alborz, the number of coronavirus fatalities has fallen to around 10 per day, a considerable drop from preceding weeks that was at times even higher than 20. As of December 6, the total death toll in the province stands at 2,377. In the last 24 hours, 81 more patients with Covid-19 symptoms were hospitalized in Alborz, bringing the current total of hospitalizations across the province to 733.
Unlike many other provinces that have witnessed some improvements, the pandemic is still running amuck in Fars. In the 24 hours spanning December 5 and December 6, 36 more Covid-19 patients died, bringing the total number of fatalities in the province to 2,685 although, according to Ali Akbari, vice president of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, the number of patients who need to be hospitalized has fallen.
“Currently,” said Akbari, “1,567 coronavirus patients are hospitalized across the province, 303 of them in ICUs.”
Iran’s Latest Coronavirus Statistics
In her daily briefing for December 6, the health ministry spokeswoman Dr. Sima Sadat Lari announced the official coronavirus statistics for the past 24 hours:
Dr. Lari reported that currently, 64 cities are in a red state of alert, 278 are in an orange state and 106 are in a yellow state of alert.
This is part of IranWire's coronavirus chronology. Read the full chronology