Tehran, Iran — Iran’s health minister said Thursday the country marked its first day in more than two years without a single COVID-19 death, hailing it as a significant milestone for a nation that has long had the highest number of coronavirus cases in the middle had east.
The ministry reported 175 new cases over the past day, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Iran to more than 7,230,000 during the pandemic. The officially registered death toll in Iran is 141,318.
“Iran has experienced the first day without a coronavirus death while America and Europe still face high casualty tolls,” Health Minister Bahram Einollahi tweeted.
At the peak of the pandemic, in August 2021, Iran was registering more than 50,000 new cases every day. The same month also marked the highest daily number of deaths, 709 deaths per day.
Earlier this year, in February, authorities said the aggressive Omicron variant was dominant in Iran and urged hospitals to prepare for a new wave of infections and hospitalizations.
Like many middle-income countries, Iran has relied on Sinopharm, the state-backed Chinese vaccine. The country also offers citizens a range of other shots to choose from – Oxford-AstraZeneca, Russia’s Sputnik V, Indian company Bharat’s Covaxin, as well as the homemade COVIran Barekat shot.
Amid simmering anti-American hostility, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had banned the import of Western gunfire. Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech remain banned.