“We’re passed COVID-19 pandemic, we’re in COVID-19 Tsunami now,” a faculty member at Mashhad Medical University said. He admitted the hospitals are full, gurneys, oxygen and medications are scare! Dr. Hashemian explained the fifth wave as more dangerous as the last four and said Delta variant has accelerated the disease process in which a case with 10% lung involvement may pass away within 48 hours. He confessed the 5-day closure is not enough and people must stay at home for at least the next 10 days. In the meantime, Dr. Sedaghat from “Imam Reza” hospital in Mashhad expressed his concern over healthcare staff’s mental health. He said they have lost all hope and suicidal thought has become more prevalent among them. Another expert said people do not need to test, “if you have the symptoms, you have COVID-19!” Khorasan Razavi Governor announced erection of field hospitals across the province to help with shortage of beds, which was reported for weeks!
Other provinces are not in a better situation. While Delta variant breaks the daily death record in Iran, Chairman of Tehran Corona Combating Committee in the 9th and 10th weeks of the COVID-19’s fifth wave in Iran, reported 9.7% increase in cases and hospitalizations from the week before, saying the peak is not reached yet. Dr. Zali said 9,860 are hospitalized now, 2,700 of which were admitted in the past 24 hours. Tehran Governor announced field hospitals will be erected in Baharestan and other areas of the capital. Markazi anticipates patients to be on the floor of hospitals soon, Hormozgan is in dire need of hospital beds where a 3-year-old died, daily death toll sets a new record in Fars with 52 victims, and Kermanshah is ravaged by the Delta.
A citizen journalist from Urmia, capital of West Azerbaijan province reports the biggest hospital is full, even oncology, nephrology, neurology,… wards are all filled with COVID-19 patients. The ER does not admit patients and treat everybody as outpatient. “They don’t allow me to go inside and record.” In another hospital, which is owned by IRGC, only family members of IRGC personnel are allowed inside!
On the other hand, the Islamic Republic’s decision to close down the country for 5 days and called it a “serious measure to control the Delta variant”, as predicted, has caused new problems. Northern provinces report full hospitals and rebuke the government for not implementing the travel ban properly. Gilan Medical University official calls it “travel catastrophe”. According to Dr. Dehnadi-Moghaddam, 500 were hospitalized since yesterday which is a new record for the province. Head of the university announced erection of field hospitals in the capital, Rasht, by Thursday. Behshahr Rep at Islamic Republic “parliament” said there is no guarantee that travelers will return healthy, citing the flood of COVID-19 patients in Mazandaran.
The “5-day plan” is only a source of income for the regime through hefty fines. Public transportation systems across the country, including Mashhad and Tehran are operational, even though they are one of the main sources of the virus.
While National COVID-19 Task Force Spokesman claimed there is “no medication shortage in the country,” Mazandaran Medical University announced shortage of about 20 medications! Oxygen has become such a valuable commodity that a member of COVID-19 vaccination committee says the government must be importing and investing in purchasing oxygen rather than remdesivir! In Mashhad and Tehran people line up to fill their oxygen tanks for the at-home patients.
Chaotic vaccination with ineffective vaccines continues. While officials keep promising millions of doses are to be imported, facts on the ground are different. After several other provinces, today, Mashhad issued a statement explaining why there are no vaccines in vaccination centers: “Tehran is supposed to send us more vaccines every day from next week!” And in Tehran, the security officer at the door of a vaccination center refuses to let in people who had been called by the Ministry of Health for their turns, and they are turned away.
8 months after Khamenei banned US and UK made vaccines, and people blaming him and the regime for out-of-control crisis in Iran, Khamenei’s personal physician shifts the blame on the Rouhani administration saying they were very passive in importing vaccines from China! Chinese Sinopharm is the most used in Iran which has been deemed ineffective against the Delta variant. On the other hand, Head of FDA claims the name of the vaccine is not important but its source must be reliable. Dr. Shanehsaz emphasized that they follow the “Supreme Leader’s” directive, saying Pfizer and Moderna could be imported if they are not coming from US!
Ministry of Health announced 19,835,639 shots have been administered in Iran since February 9, while only 4,381,288 (5.21% of population) are fully vaccinated. The Spokesperson also announced her daily discredited data which even Deputy Health Minister Harirchi dismissed and said the real numbers are “definitely much higher.” Sima Sadat Lari claimed 655 died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in Iran, which is a new record since the epidemic began in Iran, 18 months ago. According to her, 41,194 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As seen on the graphs, active and critical cases continue to soar.
Total: 4,467,015 (+41,194)
Dead: 98,483 (+655)
Critical: 7,379 (+56)
Active Cases: 611,375 (+12,322)
Total Tests: 27,278,929
Cover: Mohsen Esmailzadeh