As Iranians get ready for the “Yalda Night”, celebrating the longest and darkest night of the year, the theocratic regime is trying its best to prevent any gathering. For weeks, health experts warned about Omicron’s arrival in Iran and demanding more restrictions, but regime officials denied its existence, reopened schools, universities and all other businesses. Yesterday, they confirmed the first confirmed case with several “under investigation”. And today, all officials went on record, asking people to refrain from gatherings, laying the groundwork to blame people for any future COVID-19 wave, yet again! This is when the crowded religious gatherings were encouraged as seen in these photos from 2 nights ago in Qom, “mourning Fatemeh.”
Tehran Governor asked people to stay at home and avoid family gatherings because of “Omicron’s irreparable damages if they don’t!” Chairman of Tehran Corona Combating Committee repeated the same request. Deputy Health Minister in Public Health followed the same line of speeches, pointing out Omicron is 3-5 times more contagious than Delta. Delta variant led to a massacre in Iran, thanks to the Islamic Republic “Supreme Leader” for banning the UK and US made vaccines, promoting his foundation’s COVIran Barekat which failed miserably.
While health experts including members of National COVID-19 Task Force ask for enforcing lockdowns, closing schools and travel restrictions, in today’s Task Force meeting presided over by the Ebrahim Raisi, no new decision was taken and only “following health protocols” was recommended by the regime President! Meanwhile, Health Minister said “assuming everything is normal” is dangerous while he and regime propaganda network have been inducing “normal” for weeks. Eynollahi also claimed “there might be changes in Task Force’s decisions if situation changes,” but the Islamic Republic has proven its fragile economy is more important than people’s lives.
Deputy Head of Arak Medical University explicitly discredited the “coloring” system of the Ministry of Health and asked people not to heed it. “Don’t be content with the ‘blue’ map,” Dr. Alimohammadi warned. He warned Omicron is on the rise and asked people to rush for their 3rd shots. Acting Head of Ahvaz Medical University also asked people to get their 3rd jab as soon as possible.
The officials, including the Health Minister, admit 3-dose vaccination is necessary to fight the new variant. But the ineffective Sinopharm and failed “domestic” COVIran Barekat comprise the majority of shots used in Iran. According to WHO, 3 shots of Sinopharm are required against Delta to be “fully vaccinated,” let alone Omicron which is vaccine evasive and COVIran Barekat has not published any of its data and is not approved by any international health organization. According to official data, since February 9, only 4,054,055 (4.82% of Iran population) have received 3 doses of these vaccines.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 41 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 2,390 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 314,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,173,369 (+2,390)
Dead: 131,124 (+41)
Critical: 2,849 (-27)
Active Cases: 32,756 (-2,863)
Total Tests: 40,880,338
Cover: Mohammadali Asadi