Mohammad Ali Malboubi, the manager of the team tasked with conducting genetic studies on coronavirus, said that his team have compared the coronavirus samples in the country with the foreign samples and “concluded that 23 coronavirus mutations have occured in Iran so far”.
He added that four of the mutations are specific to Iran as they have not been seen in any other country.
Malboubi said that at the moment 30 to 40 percent of molecular diagnoses for coronavirus have errors which could partly be blamed on mutations in the COVID-19 virus.
He noted that one of the mutations which has become prevalent in Europe and has been seen in Iran as well is one which causes the virus to reproduce in greater numbers in the body.
“That means this type of mutated virus will infect more individuals, and one person could infect 340 people. This type of virus has been seen in Iran, too,” Malboubi added.
The Iranian health ministry announced on Saturday that 2,139 new cases of coronavirus infection have been identified across the country during the past 24 hours, adding that 116 patients have passed away in the same period of time.
"2,139 new patients infected with COVID-19 have been identified in the country based on confirmed diagnosis criteria since yesterday,” Iranian Health Ministry Spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Saturday, and added, "1,138 patients have been hospitalized during the same time span.”
“The total number of COVID-19 patients has increased to 399,940 since the virus outbreak,” she added.
“Unfortunately, 116 patients have passed away in the past 24 hours, increasing the number of the dead to 23,029,” the spokeswoman noted.
Lari expressed satisfaction that 344,516 coronavirus patients have recovered or been discharged from hospitals so far.
The spokeswoman further said that 3,768 cases infected with COVID-19 are in critical conditions.
She went on to say that 3,532,873 coronavirus diagnosis tests have so far been conducted across the country.
Lari added that 13 provinces, including Tehran, are still in red condition, while 15 other provinces remain in the status of alert.
Early in August, President Hassan Rouhani lauded Iranians for observing coronavirus-related instructions set by the health ministry, and noted that obligatory protocols will persist until discovering the vaccine.
Everybody should follow the instructions announced by the National Anti-Coronavirus Campaign Headquarters so that we overcome the virus and the related vaccine is made, Rouhani noted.
Those provinces which had already been in red conditions passed the coronavirus peak today, President Rouhani said.
He appreciated the nation for cooperating with the health officials in fighting the COVID-19.
Rouhani said in June that over 1,000 medical centers in the country have received necessary equipment to conduct tests on people suspected of infection to coronavirus, and added that Iran ranks first in the Muslim world in scientific achievements.
"Based on a report [by the health ministry], 1,200 centers across the country are ready to take samples and tests from people and 17,500 nursing and health homes are also prepared to provide hygiene and treatment services to people," Rouhani said, addressing a meeting of the national coronavirus campaign headquarters in Tehran.
Also, last month, he said that the country will increase the number of its hospital beds to 8,000 by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19).
"We will add 8,000 hospital beds by the yearend," Rouhani said.
He added that 1,500 hospital beds for special cases have also been added to the capacity of the country's medical system since the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, noting that 2 drug production lines are also added every month to the country's pharmaceutical capacity.
The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed over 924,500 people and infected more than 28.9 million others globally.
The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), former Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.
As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and most universities have been extended until further notice.