It can be said that the "British" strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has already spread in Iran, Iranian Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki said, Trend reports.
He made the remark at a meeting of rectors of medical universities held in a video-conference format.
The minister said that the recent death of a 71-year-old woman who did not go anywhere in Tehran as a result of a mutated virus, and similar incidents in the cities of Abyek in Qazvin Province and Hashtgerd in Alborz Province prove that a new strain of the virus has spread in Iran.
Namaki added that the mutated version of the coronavirus is a serious alarm for Iran that calls for additional measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
"The mutated coronavirus has already destroyed the most powerful health care system in Europe. The difficult days are beginning for Iran. Therefore, Iran must be ready to fight this virus," he noted.
According to the minister, the incidence and mortality of mutated coronavirus cases are many times higher than that of the previous version.
Iran continues to monitor the coronavirus situation in the country. According to recent reports from Iranian officials, over 1.51 million people have been infected, and 58,883 people have already died. Meanwhile, over 1.29 million people have reportedly recovered from the disease.
The country continues to apply strict measures to contain further spread. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease.
The Islamic Republic only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19.
The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.
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