Omicron variant, air pollution in Tehran and other metropolitan areas, in addition to low and slow COVID-19 vaccination rate, remain top health issues in Iran. The Islamic Republic officials, especially the Health Minister, keeps denying any confirmed Omicron cases but at the same time refuses to provide any sequencing details. The health experts believe its arrival is inevitable, particularly when it has been confirmed in Iraq and Pakistan! According to Johns Hopkins Hospital data, since the beginning of pandemic in February 2020, there has been almost no sequencing performed in Iran.
In the meantime, air quality deteriorates. According to Tehran Air Quality Control Center, the pollution is so severe that the air is dangerous for all age groups. The data indicate that in the past 9 months, Tehran has only had 2 “clean” days! The poor air quality has led to increased risk of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
On the other hand, the low and slow vaccination has caused concern among health experts. Some believe the delay in administering doses has made the immunity against COVID-19 nonexistent! Some believe reopening schools at this time, considering Omicron, is a huge mistake and will lead to a new wave. But Islamic Republic has begun its “smart quarantine” plan which allows for everybody with a dose of vaccine to roam around without any restriction!
WHO recommends 3 doses of the ineffective Sinopharm, the major vaccine used in Iran, for “full vaccination.” Ministry of Health claims since February 9, only 49,045,408 (58.38% of population) have received 2 doses of these vaccines and merely 2,098,574 (2.49% of population) have received 3 shots.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 79 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 2,971 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 313,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,150,843 (+2,971)
Dead: 130,603 (+79)
Critical: 3,154 (-15)
Active Cases: 63,223 (-3,700)
Total Tests: 39,846,085
Cover: Mina Noei