Compliance with health protocols during the upcoming holidays stressed
President Ebrahim Raisi stressed on Saturday the importance of following Covid-19 safety measures over the upcoming New Year holidays when families gather in enclosed spaces and travel increases.
“Although we were able to overcome the sixth wave, it is necessary to strictly respect the rules and the sanitary protocols”, declared the president quoted by his website.
The sixth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, driven by the highly contagious variant of Omicron, increased infection rates to almost unprecedented levels before declining in recent weeks.
At Saturday’s national coronavirus headquarters meeting, the president said the NCH’s top priority was to encourage people to get a third booster shot to further boost immunity.
“Since a significant portion of society has not received the third dose, corporate headquarters is basing vacation travel authorizations on two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine,” the senior official said.
In accordance with the new decisions, all people who have received the first two doses of the vaccine are allowed to travel across the country during the holidays, starting March 17.
Raisi stressed that schools and universities must hold in-person classes given the drop in cases and hospitalizations.
“Students in universities and schools make the future of a country, no society can ignore the quality of education of its future generation”, underlined the president.
In the past 24 hours, 2,200 new cases of coronavirus have been reported in the country and 120 patients have died from the infectious disease.
Some 26% of Iran’s population of 85 million have yet to receive a vaccine, national coronavirus headquarters spokesman Abbas Shiravjan said on Saturday.
“A total of 26% of the country’s population, including children under 12 and other target groups have not been vaccinated at all,” he said.
“It can be extremely dangerous for them, and even worrying,” the official added.
According to the spokesperson, 91% of the target group received the first dose, a “relatively good statistic”, but more people need to receive the second and third shots.
Unvaccinated people usually have more severe symptoms if they catch the virus.
The Ministry of Health announced on Saturday that an additional 214,000 people had been vaccinated against Covid-19, bringing the total number of vaccines administered to 144.5 million.
More than 63.5 million received the first dose, 56 million the two injections and 24.8 million received a booster injection to protect themselves from contagion.