Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, warned on Saturday that a “fifth wave” of COVID-19 might sweep over the country as the Delta form spreads, and he demanded strict adherence to pandemic procedures.
Rouhani, the country’s outgoing leader, said the variant has already entered the country from the eastern and south-eastern borders and could trigger “a fifth wave of the pandemic,” the Mehr News Agency reported.
He issued the warning as the Iranian health ministry confirmed that more than 8,300 new COVID-19 cases and 111 deaths from the illness were recorded across the country in the preceding 24 hours.
The official death toll in Iran since the outbreak began has risen to 84,627.
Rouhani’s Saturday warning followed remarks he made earlier in the week during a meeting of Iran’s National Task Force Against Coronavirus in Tehran, during which he proclaimed that the only way to avert a fifth wave of the epidemic is to “fully comply with health protocols.”
“Considering the atmosphere we are in, in order not to face the previous restrictions and the cities not to turn red again, we need to fully observe the protocols so that we do not have to impose severe restrictions again,” the president said Thursday, according to his official website.
He stated that a vaccine scarcity had been “eliminated” by “the import of foreign vaccines and the use of domestically produced vaccines,” resulting in a faster rate of immunisation.
Rouhani stated that his administration “promises to vaccinate the target group” before the end of his time in office early next month, when he would be succeeded by hardline cleric Ebrahim Raisi.