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Iran reports 1st case of omicron variant

Iran reports 1st case of omicron variant
Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East, has seen drop in infections in recent weeks

By Syed Zafar Mehdi

TEHRAN, Iran (AA) – Iran has detected the first case of the omicron variant of coronavirus in a person returning from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), officials said on Sunday.

Deputy Health Minister Kamal Heidari said the infected person is a middle-aged man from Tehran, who recently returned from the UAE.

"Three weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the omicron variant that emerged first in South Africa before reaching Europe, today we also identified the first case of it," Heidari told reporters.

He said the infected person and those in his contacts were quarantined.

According to health ministry officials, two other suspected cases are also being investigated for the omicron variant.

Omicron strain, which was first reported in South Africa last month, has already been detected in more than 50 countries.

Due to the high transmission rate of the variant, an emergency meeting was held in the presence of the health minister on Sunday to formulate a strategy to contain the new variant, Heidari said.

Iran, the worst-affected country by the coronavirus in the Middle East, has seen a significant drop in new cases and deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic in recent weeks, prompting authorities to ease restrictions.

The country has so far identified 6.1 million COVID-19 infections and 131,083 deaths.

The decline in infections and fatalities came after authorities ramped up the vaccination program, compensating for the long delay.

So far, over 59 million people have received at least one dose and over 50 million have been administered both vaccine jabs, according to the health ministry.

source: News Feed
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