Tehran: A report stated on Monday that at least one person is dying every two minutes due to COVID-19 in Iran, making it the worst-hit country in the Middle East with a new death toll of 588 in the last 24-hours.
The number of COVID-19 victims and deaths worldwide is increasing and Iran is currently the 12th largest country in the world affected by the pandemic.
With authorities complaining about poor social distancing, state media says hospitals in several cities have run out of beds for new patients. Some social media users have criticized the religious establishment for the slow pace of vaccinations, with only about 4 percent of the population of 83 million being vaccinated.
The ministry said the total deaths reached 94,603 on Monday, while cases rose by 40,808 in the past 24 hours to 4,199,537, in a fifth wave blamed on the highly contagious delta variant.
“Every two seconds, one person is infected in Iran, and approximately every two minutes a person dies from the Corona virus,” state television said, adding that most of Iran’s 31 provinces have moved from the less dangerous orange level to the red alert status. That compares with a rate of one death per three minutes a month ago.
In January, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned the import of United States (US) and British vaccines, saying they were unreliable and could spread infection.
Iran has blamed US sanctions for hampering purchases and deliveries of vaccines from other countries.
New Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who received his first dose of a homemade vaccine on Sunday, urged officials to speed up vaccination and use “all necessary means” to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.