Tehran Corona Combating Committee calls the situation unprecedented. According to its Chairman, the capital hospitals are at full capacity with record-breaking number of COVID-19 patients. Dr. Zali warns about shortage of oxygen in hospitals in the coming days. He also reported 50% positivity rate for PCR tests performed in Tehran. Isfahan’s healthcare system is inches away from its break point. Markazi and Fars have erected field hospitals to attend to more patients.
President of Iran Medical University reiterated the same points, adding the increased number of beds, staff, physicians and working hours are not enough to meet the demand! Dr. Kouhpayehzadeh warned about daily deaths reaching 600 and said 35-40% of healthcare staff have been vaccinated so far, a new discrepancy in coronavirus vaccination stats.
Dr. Raisi, National Task Force Spokesman, claimed by mid-May, the first phase of vaccination will be completed! However, his claim is based on 400,000 doses of “donated” Chinese Sinopharm which have not arrived yet and 375,000 doses of Indian Covaxin which India has banned for now. On the other hand, President of Islamic Republic insists on his vision that private companies should import coronavirus vaccines. While no other country has done so and Dr. Minoo Mohraz, a member of National Task Force, says all vaccines are pre-ordered until 2022, it is unclear why Rouhani is so persistent.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Mashhad Medical Board warned officials “if vaccine doesn’t get here fast, there will be a humanitarian catastrophe!” Dr.Birjandinejad emphasized there is no other way but to lockdown the country and start mass vaccination. He pointed the finger at Saeed Namaki saying if he was not effective in implementing travel bans during Nowruz holidays, at least he must import “vaccines, vaccines, vaccines.” He rebuked the officials for finding an easy way out and blaming people for their traveling.
Despite the dreadful coronavirus spread throughout Iran, the Health Minister is worried the enemy might take advantage of the situation if people do not follow health protocols during crowded Ramdan gatherings that he had permitted! Saeed Namaki has been fighting back against critiques by revealing information from inside the National Task Force meetings. A point which Vaezi, Rouhani’s Chief of Staff, noted and asked Namaki to stop “criticizing the decisions in public,” since what is said in the meetings is “secret!” National Task Force decided not to ban traveling during the Persian New Year holidays and Namaki has been parading that as his defense for the current COVID-19 tsunami.
Ministry of Health, for the first time, announced official numbers for COVID-19 vaccinations in Iran. According to the Spokesperson, since February 9, 2021, and from total of 1,595,800 doses of Sputnik V, Sinopharm, Covaxin and AstraZeneca imported, only 462,642 shots have been administered, with 100,691 receiving 2 doses. That’s 0.12% of Iran population. Sima Sadat Lari also presented her daily manipulated and undercounted report, claiming 304 died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 25,582 tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a new record for daily cases since the epidemic began 14months ago. Testing remains in the same range. Critical and active cases continue to rise, as seen on the graphs.
Total: 2,143,794 (+25,582)
Dead: 65,359 (+304)
Critical: 4,539 (+58)
Active Cases: 339,433 (+15,569)
Tests: 13,964,570 (16.8% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Amid Farahi