In addition to the UK variant of coronavirus in Iran, South African and Indian strains are found in the country too. Islamic Republic Health Minister, once again blamed others in allowing these variants into Iran. Saeed Namaki confirmed 3 cases of South African variant in “one of the southern provinces” but didn’t provide more details. He also sounded the alarm for the deadlier Indian variant which is taking over India. Namaki claimed the vaccines are not effective against it. In the meantime, Bushehr officials confirmed 5 positive coronavirus tests in the province among 20 Indians who have come to Bushehr from neighboring provinces. According to the authorities, the tests have been sent to Tehran for sequencing.
Medical experts believe the double-mutated coronavirus in India is 50% faster in transmission and 60% deadlier. Dr. Khodashahi, head of Infectious-disease ward in Imam Reza hospital in Mashhad, said this variant won’t present with respiratory symptoms at first but they manifest after lungs are involved. Dr. Shahriari, Chairman of Health Commission at Islamic Consultative Assembly, in a letter to Rouhani demanded all borders to be closed. While flights to 15 countries are supposedly banned (India, Pakistan, France, Botswana, Brazil, Czech, Estonia, Iraq, Ireland, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Slovakia, South Africa, Zambia), as it has happened before, there is no guarantee the rules are enforced.
Despite Indian variant has been devastating India, breaking all daily records in the world, the COVID-19 deaths in Iran tops India based on population throughout the pandemic.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to ravage through the country, and hospitals remain at full capacity. Mazandaran hospitals report 100% filled ICU beds, coronavirus cases increase in Ardabil, Markazi reports higher hospitalizations than recoveries, and Alborz COVID-19 deaths multiplied almost 6 times in 24hours. Hamedan officials confirm the number of cases are still on the rise despite 3 weeks of restrictions, describing the situation even worse than before. Imam Khomeini Hospital of Tehran, one of the main facilities in the capital, is in a dire situation with no vacant beds.
Even though Islamic Republic officials continue their vaccination charade and regime controlled media trumpet increasing number of doses being administered every day, healthcare staff are struggling to receive their shots. In just one sample, in Shiraz, laboratory workers were asked to go to a center at 8 AM. This video shows how long they have been waiting and how organized the process was.
Ministry of Health announced 889,554 COVID shots have been administered since February 9, while 184,407 (0.21% of population) have been fully vaccinated. Mostafa Moein, Chairman of the Medical Board Supreme Council, said being at the bottom of vaccination ranking in the world and charge people for it, it is a sign of incompetent crisis management. He also rebuked the Health Minister for his contradictory statements, saying that has caused people to lose trust in the system. Dr. Moein mentioned Namaki criticizing National Task Force for not banning travels during Nowruz holidays but allowing crowded Qadr nights gatherings as one of those examples.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson presented her daily manipulated data. The same data which have been widely criticized since day one and Iran Medical Board estimated the real figures are at least 3 times higher. Sima Sadat Lari claimed 462 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Iran while 20,963 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Active cases soar to a new high, as seen on the graphs.
Total: 2,438,193 (+20,963)
Dead: 70,532 (+462)
Critical: 5,287 (+43)
Active Cases: 460,471 (+5,540)
Tests: 15,435,147 (18.3% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Koosha Mahshid Fallahi