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Iran hit by 'alarming' third wave of Covid-19 amid calls to reimpose lockdown

Iran has recorded a total of over 422,000 coronavirus infections [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 September, 2020

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Officials in Iran are alarmed by a recent spike in coronavirus cases and are calling for a renewed lockdown.
The Iranian capital saw a surge in coronavirus cases that authorities said was a "third wave of the virus" sweeping Tehran, Arabi21 reported on Monday. 

"Data from the last two days indicates an increase in the number of new [coronavirus] patients," Ali Reza Zali, the head of the centre for combating coronavirus in Tehran was quoted as saying.

"At present, Tehran is definitely a red region and the spike in the number of cases indicates that we have entered the third stage," Reza Zali added.

The official leading the capital's coronavirus response explained that the "transition from the second to the third wave" had been very quick, while there was a much longer lull between the first and second waves of the outbreak.

The Coronavirus Control Centre in Tehran has sent a letter to the health ministry requesting to reinstate a general lockdown, reimpose precautionary measures to combat the spread of the disease and revert to remote work, he said.

On Saturday, a government expert in the Iranian health sector said that about half of coronavirus patients who receive treatment in intensive care units in the country die, while the death rate among those placed on ventilators has reached 90 percent.

Read also: World powers dismiss US sanctions against Iran

"Overall, between ten and 12 percent of coronavirus patients in hospitals lose their lives," Masoud Mardani, an infectious disease expert and a member of the government committee in charge of combating Covid-19, told the state-run Iranian Students News Agency.

In recent days, Iran has witnessed a dramatic increase in daily coronavirus cases, recording on Sunday its highest daily cases since early June with 3,097 infections.

More than 24,000 people have died of Covid-19 in Iran.

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