COVID-19 tsunami is drowning Iran and its healthcare system. Hospitalizations are rapidly on the rise, overwhelming hospitals and healthcare staff. Hospitals are at full capacity, some locals report in Tehran, hospitals are giving out oxygen to the patients in their parking lots and garages. An official at Tehran Medical University admits the curve for hospitalizations and critical cases is too steep. Dr. Farshad Allameh said there patients in all age ranges and UK variant of coronavirus seems to be dominant. Head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee reported more than 13,000 outpatients at hospitals and clinics across the capital in the past 24 hours, making it a record for the epidemic. Dr. Zali said new admissions increased 14% from the day before while ICU admissions jumped 10.1%.
Ministry of Health is under fire, to the point many asked for Saeed Namaki’s resignation on social media. Deputy Health Minister Harirchi refused to answer the question, who was against travel ban during Nowruz, saying “let’s not get too specific.” It is worth noting that before Persian New Year, Rouhani said there is no wave in the country, contrary to the Ministry of Health.
The restrictions are not being enforced and only today, National Task Force decided to announce 2 week partial lockdown in red cities from Saturday!
In the meantime, President of Islamic Republic, as usual, pointed finger at US sanctions and Trump administration for not ordering enough vaccines for Iranians in time. However, Chairman of General Assembly of the Medical Board said the main problem is “us” and then others. Dr. Aghazadeh criticized the government for being late in ordering vaccines, saying, “We have been waiting for the domestic coronavirus vaccine for so long that we fell behind the virus. We have been saying for 6 months that homegrown vaccines will be ready by June the earliest!” According to him, none of the healthcare staff in the private sector has received any shots, noting wrong statistics by Deputy Health Minister in Nursing who said 80% of healthcare workers have been immunized. Aghazadeh said Ms. Hazrati may not be aware of the correct numbers but however she means it, it is wrong.
Coronavirus statistics of Ministry of Health have been criticized by many since day 1, including Iran Medical Board officials who believe the real numbers are at least 3 times higher. Ministry of Health Spokesperson, however, continue to present them every day. Sima Sadat Lari claimed 22,586 tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Iran in the past 24 hours while 185 died of COVID-19. That’s a new record for daily cases for the past 14 months. Hospitalizations, active cases and critical cases continue to soar, as seen on the graphs. Daily PCR tests reached 81,000 for the first time since February 2020.
Total: 2,006,934 (+22,586)
Dead: 63,884 (+185)
Critical: 4,221 (+44)
Active Cases: 258,480 (+13,722)
Tests: 13,412,327 (16.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Maryam Ebrahim