Islamic Republic President, contrary to his own statement before Nowruz that “fourth peak is over”, said the coming week would be very difficult and emphasized foreign vaccines must be imported as soon as possible! Contrary to his Health Minister with whom his rift is no longer a secret, Rouhani insisted on using private companies for this purpose. He also promised by April 23, 1.4million included in the “first phase” of national COVID-19 vaccination program will be vaccinated.
On the other hand, Red Crescent Society which its head is appointed by president, announced Ministry of Health has delayed issuing a permit for importing COVID-19 vaccine for more than 3 months. This statement prompted the Ministry to release their permit which was issued 2 weeks ago. The FDA went a step further and accused the Red Crescent for improper use of 13million Euro subsidized currency, alleging the allocated funds for flu vaccine importation is nowhere to be found! Meanwhile, in between Islamic Republic officials corruption and personal fights, 319 more Iranians died of COVID-19 while mass vaccination seems even farther away.
National Task Force Spokesman admitted COVID-19 continues to rage through Iran while restrictions are not enforced properly and compliance with protocols is at 58.8% which is too low for the country. Dr. Raisi pushed back the date for completion of the “first phase” of COVID-19 vaccination covering healthcare staff, nursing home residents, terminally ill and immunocompromized people. He had promised it would be done by April 20. On the other hand, he did not mention “street cleaners” or martyrs’ parents and veterans as priority groups, but according to Islamic Republic media mass coverage, they have been receiving “vaccines.” It is worth noting, the “first phase” means first dose injection of “priority groups.” In addition, there has been rumors Cuban vaccine is being tested on certain groups without their knowledge.
The Spokesman boasted all domestic vaccine trials and productions are on schedule, without going in too deep into details. Raisi also announced the coloring of counties as “257 red, 129 orange, 51 yellow and 11 blue,” while saying the next update will be on Monday! However, until yesterday, there were 295 red, 99 orange, 45 yellow and 9 blue, as if there has been an undetected update already, another mess following censoring “black.” While he postponed the decision about extending the current lax restrictions till next Saturday, Dr. Masoud Mardani, a member of National Task Force, made it clear the only way out of the current “dreadful situation” is complete lockdown of the country.
Hospitals across the country are filled with COVID-19 patients. Behbahan in Khuzestan is admitting patients from Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad, Fars has erected field hospitals and officials believe this is not even the peak yet, Mazandaran officials are pondering to do the same. Qazvin sets a new record in its daily death toll, and Hormozgan’s deaths have increased 33% from a week ago while its coronavirus infections have jumped 67%! North Khorasan reported 50% positivity rate in tests. Tehran remains critical with full hospitals and continued rise in hospitalizations, cases and deaths.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson provided her daily manipulated data which claimed 319 died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 21,312 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The real numbers are at least 3 times higher, according to officials. Critical cases continue rise while ICU beds are scarce. Active cases reach a new high every day, as seen on the graphs. Sima Sadat Lari also asserted 376,684 have received their first shot while only 121,803, 0.14% of Iran population, have been fully vaccinated.
Total: 2,215,445 (+21,312)
Dead: 66,327 (+319)
Critical: 4,694 (+42)
Active Cases: 376,430 (+9,802)
Tests: 14,277,782 (17.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Mohammad Rafiei-Movahed