The number of people hospitalized with severe Covid-19 in Tehran has hit a record high as Iran grapples with a fifth wave of coronavirus infections caused by the Delta variant.
Alireza Zali, the head of Tehran Coronavirus Headquarters, was quoted in Iranian media as saying that 5,400 people are currently in intensive care across the province.
In the past 24 hours, Zali said, another 243 patients had been admitted to ICUs while Tehran has also seen a surge in visits to medical centers. In 24 hours, he said, "17,000 outpatients have been referred to these centers, of whom 1,695 were hospitalized."
In the 24 hours leading up to the evening of Monday July 5, a total of 52 citizens in Tehran province were recorded as having lost their lives to Covid-19. The Ministry of Health logged a total of 157 deaths from Covid-19 nationwide in the same period.
The Tehran Coronavirus Headquarters has urgently called for more hospital beds and for outpatient centers to be better-equipped. Given the province’s large population, Zali has also asked the Ministry of Health to consider a "special vaccine quota" to cover Tehran’s medical staff, the elderly and at-risk patients.
Gatherings and ceremonies are currently banned in Iran according to the latest directive from the Ministry of Health. Last week it was reported that the hyper-infectious Delta variant first identified in India had reached the Iranian capital.