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Iran To Start Six-Day Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Surge

Updated

The national coronavirus task force also ordered a travel ban between all Iranian cities from August 15 to August 20.

Iranian state media says authorities will impose a six-day "general lockdown" in cities across the country beginning on August 16.

The lockdown in Iran includes bazaars, markets, public offices, movie theaters, gyms, and restaurants in all Iranian cities. It will last through August 21.

Iran on August 15 reported 620 deaths, a record. The country also registered 36,736 new infections in 24 hours, taking the total since the pandemic started to 4,425,821, the Health Ministry said.

The total number of fatalities stands at 97,828 while officials have acknowledged the official figures underestimate the country's real toll.

The national coronavirus task force also ordered a travel ban between all Iranian cities from August 15 to August 20.

Iran reported 29,700 daily cases and 466 deaths on August 14.

Overall totals stand at 4.3 million confirmed cases and 97,208 confirmed deaths. Only 3.8 million of Iran's more than 80 million people are fully inoculated.

"The situation is catastrophic," said Amir Ali Savadkuhi, the president of Iran's Intensive Care Association. He said sometimes hospitals "just wait for patients to die because there is no treatment [available] for this [number] of admissions."

There are also widespread shortages of oxygen cylinders and other materials.

Many front-line medical workers have been vaccinated with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, which may be less effective than other inoculations.

Iran also imports Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, along with the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot through the UN-backed COVAX program. Some have been also vaccinated with the locally made Barekat vaccine.

Iran's government announced its homemade vaccine provides 85 percent protection from the coronavirus.

With reporting by AP and Reuters
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