Islamic Republic President claimed only 2 provinces have entered the fourth wave of coronavirus while National Task Force Spokesman said 11 provinces are experiencing an uptrend! Raisi stated the virus has taken a big leap, spreading faster than before. Ministry of Health had called the “fourth wave in the country a definite” before. The first weekly National Task Force meeting in the Persian New Year ended with a decision to fine positive people who traveled during holidays for 200,000 Toman per day. The high office also refused Health Minister’s request to close off Turkey border for a week, citing, “It’s not an overnight task.”
Qazvin officials stated “coronavirus tsunami” is on its way, while Isfahan defined its steep curve as “exploding” and warned that the capital of province will turn “red” in the risk scale soon. Medical University Spokesman reported 3-fold increase in hospitalizations and cases compared to 2 weeks ago, calling it unprecedented. Head of Kermanshah Medical University explained the doubling in cases in the past 2 weeks have been “elevator-like” and not “gradual.” Markazi Governor office used “elevator-like” rise description for its increases in cases and deaths. Deputy Governor reported 3-fold increase in cases and quadruple deaths from last week. Markazi hospitals are reportedly getting filled with COVID-19 patients.
Tehran Corona Combating Committee announced 37% increase in hospitalizations from last week, warning hospitals are overloaded and ERs congested. Dr. Zali reported 3,712 hospitalized patients in Tehran, a record in the past 5 months. Tehran Governor announced 57% rise in deaths, 66.6% in outpatient cases and 75.5% in hospitalizations compared to 2 weeks ago. Ministry of Health announced Tehran and Karaj will turn red soon. Mashhad reported 3-fold spike in admissions from 2 weeks ago. Fars officials warned about unprecedented increase in their cases. Shiraz Medical University believes the fourth wave will continue for the next 2 months!
Khuzestan remains critical. According to an official, in the past week, number of cases increased by 57% and hospitalizations by 41%. While the UK variant is becoming dominant in western and central parts of the country, Abdolnejadian warned about Brazilian variant entering the country through “Imam Khomeini” harbor when ships from Brazil are docked. Other provinces such as Mazandaran, Ilam, Gilan, Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad, Alborz, Hamedan, Hormozgan, Semnan, Kurdistan, Bushehr have reported the same dreadful situations!
Officials have been blaming people for traveling and spreading the virus. They banned people from celebrating the Nature Day outdoors. But at the same time, religious leaders like this cleric encouraged people to kiss and lick “Imam Reza shrine” in Mashhad. He asked his followers not to wear mask when there either, because “Imam Reza heals.”
Mass vaccination seems to be postponed again. Ghane’ei said the general vaccination may start by September, unless COVIran Barekat is given interim approval in the middle of its third phase of clinical trials. He confirmed the 100,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine are to be tested on Iranians which may begin next week, but there hasn’t been any notice for registering volunteers.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson warned about domination of UK variant in the country while presenting her daily manipulated data. Sima Sadat Lari claimed 123 died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 11,420 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Her daily reported have been widely scrutinized and even officials believe the real numbers are at least 3 times higher. Lari also warned about more deaths during the fourth wave. Daily PCR tests reached 75,000 for the first time in the past 14 months. Active and critical cases continue to rise, as seen on the graphs. Number of high risk areas jumped to 173 counties, 47 red and 126 orange.
Total: 1,920,394 (+11,420)
Dead: 62,999 (+123)
Critical: 4,024 (+19)
Admitted: 214,977 (+2,828)
Tests: 13,038,709 (15.7% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Davood Behgan