Iran warns of spread of new Covid-19 variant

Iran’s health ministry warned of the spread of a new Covid-19 variant in the country, official IRNA news agency reported.

“So far, 17 patients infected with the mutated virus have been identified in Iran,” Kianoush Jahanpour, head of Public Relations of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, was quoted as saying on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Jahanpour said seven of the infected people are in Qazvin Province where special measures have been adopted to identify and control the spread of the virus.

“The risk of rapid spread of the (mutated) virus is serious,” he said, urging strict observance of social distancing, use of masks in public and avoidance of any kind of gathering and unnecessary commutes.

Signs of new resurgence of the disease have been observed in some Iranian provinces, which would be more dangerous than previous stages, Jahanpour noted.

Iran’s health ministry reported 8,011 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, raising the total nationwide infections to 1,534,034.

The pandemic has so far claimed 59,117 lives in Iran, up by 89 in the past 24 hours, said the health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari during her daily briefing.

Of the newly infected, 690 were hospitalized, said Lari.

A total of 1,310,821 people have recovered from the disease and been discharged from hospitals, while 3,696 remain in intensive care units, she added.

According to the spokeswoman, 10,161,499 tests for the virus have been carried out in Iran by Tuesday.