COVID-19 active cases broke all time records and provinces continue to report overwhelming number of outpatients and hospitalizations. Field hospitals are erected in several cities. A member of National Task Force predicts the number of deaths will increase and this would be the situation for at least another 2-3 weeks. Islamic Republic Health Minister admits the long lines for chicken and other basic needs are one of the major reasons for the current coronavirus tsunami in Iran. Saeed Namaki mentioned Nowruz travelings as another cause for the mayhem.
After days of unimaginable situation throughout the country, National Task Force Spokesman announced 10-day closure of non-essential businesses in red and orange cities, comprising 86% of the country. Tehran Bazaar will be closed for 2 weeks. Many provinces followed suit and closed down their markets for 2 weeks. However, officials noted banks, Tehran Stock Exchange, public transportation,… will remain open. Just like in previous waves, the halfhearted “holiday” will not be effective, some health officials predicted.
Vaccination remains the biggest hurdle in controlling the coronavirus crisis in Iran. While most countries are progressing and immunize more people every day, Iranians are deprived of reliable vaccines by their theocratic rulers. Chairman of Iran Nursing Organization reported about 80,000 nurses have contracted the virus and 110 have died of COVID-19 in the past 14 months. Dr. Mirzabeigi criticized the “unfair distribution” of few vaccine doses available in Iran. He demanded Ministry of Health to reconsider its prioritization. According to Dr. Raisi, National Task Force Spokesman, 1,300,000 healthcare workers in direct contact with coronavirus were to be vaccinated by March 20, but so far, only about 56,000 have been fully vaccinated, some of them veterans, parents of martyrs, and none of private sector healthcare staff.
Nurses are not the only ones slamming the government for its vaccination process. Dentistry students in Shiraz protested against the prioritization and some receiving shots out of turn. They held signs in their college reading: “Who sets priorities?” “We won’t leave till we get shots,” “Shame,” and so on. There are many reasons for the dreadful vaccination in Iran. One of them is Khamenei banning US and UK made vaccines because he does not trust “their intentions.”
The manipulated data of Ministry of Health have been dismissed even by regime officials. Iran Medical Board admitted the real numbers are at least 3 times more. However, that does not stop Sima Sadat Lari from presenting them every day. The Spokesperson claimed 155 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Iran while 22,478 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The UK variant remains dominant. Critical cases rise to 4,278 while active cases reached its highest point since the epidemic began in February 2020, as seen on the graphs.
Total: 2,029,412 (+22,478)
Dead: 64,039 (+155)
Critical: 4,278 (+57)
Active Cases: 272,368 (+13,888)
Tests: 13,494,296 (16.2% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Seyed Hamed Mousavi