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11 Aug, 2021 13:19

Iran’s supreme leader calls Covid ‘number one problem’ as deaths soar past 500-mark for several days

Iran’s supreme leader calls Covid ‘number one problem’ as deaths soar past 500-mark for several days

The supreme leader of Iran has stated that the coronavirus pandemic is the Islamic Republic’s “number one problem” as the country’s daily fatalities continue to surpass 500 and Covid cases reach new highs.

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dubbed the coronavirus outbreak as the greatest obstacle Iran faces. The leader echoed a similar sentiment on Twitter, calling Covid-19 “the country’s number one problem today,” expressing that the number of rising infections and fatalities “breaks the heart of any human.”

Khamenei also implored for more attention to be paid to increasing the country’s Covid vaccine production, as well as calling for more imports from other countries in a bid to boost inoculation rates nationwide.

The leader’s address coincides with Iran observing tens of thousands of new cases a day, reaching an unprecedented high of 42,541 infections on Wednesday.

Alongside soaring cases, Iranian state media estimated on Monday that one Iranian dies every two minutes from Covid-related implications. The country has recorded daily deaths surpassing the grisly 500-mark since Sunday. 

Also on rt.com Covid kills one person every two minutes in Iran, media estimate, as country records deadliest day in pandemic

Iran boasts an array of international Covid vaccines in its arsenal, such as Russia’s Sputnik V, Chinese Sinopharm, and Oxford/AstraZeneca, as well as two domestically produced Covid shots.

The Islamic Republic had rejected vaccines from the UK and the US earlier this year due to a lack of trust as the two Western nations had some of the world’s highest mortality rates. Iran later U-turned and allowed Oxford’s vaccine to be rolled out in the country. Tehran also blames Washington’s sanctions for hampering the country’s vaccine rollout in what it calls “medical terrorism.”

Iran is currently experiencing its ‘fifth wave’ of the coronavirus pandemic fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant. The country’s official Covid count stands at almost 4.3 million, with 95,647 Iranians having succumbed to the virus. The harrowing figures give Iran the title of being the Middle Eastern nation hardest hit by the coronavirus, as well as ranking in the top 15 countries worst hit by the pandemic.

Also on rt.com US sanctions are harming Iran’s Covid-19 response & amount to ‘medical terrorism’, FM Zarif tells RT (VIDEO)

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