Omicron continues its spread across Iran. Even though WHO has sent 2 million test kits to Iran in a 60-ton shipment on Friday, December 24, 2021, funded by Germany, to be used on the automated machines which were donated earlier in June 2020 and July 2021, local medical staff complain about shortage of kits in sequencing the variants. Head of NICU at a hospital in Mashhad warned about a fast spreading virus in the second biggest city of Iran, which “seems to be Omicron.” Dr. Khademi mentioned shortage of diagnostic kits has been a hurdle! He admitted the majority of patients are kids who have contracted the virus in schools. Mashhad Medical University Spokesperson predicted the city will be designated “orange” and restrictions implemented!
Meanwhile, Active Head of Semnan Medical University admitted Omicron is spreading in his province as well and in a form of a case history demonstrated “the explosive spread of Omicron!” According to Dr. Quds, the cases have not be confirmed yet, but a kid who was in kindergarten has infected the entire family within hours to a day. Kermanshah, Fars and Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad also report of a spike in their daily COVID-19 cases.
Jafar Ebrahimi, a civil activist and teacher, warns the government of an “upcoming catastrophe in schools.” In his statement, he mentions crowded schools, especially in underserved areas. Ebrahimi criticized the regime for not providing free masks and disinfectants to schools and charging students double the price for each mask, which has created problems for poor families who cannot afford “mandatory masks” and a great source of income for “school officials!”
Despite all the warnings, surge in cases and reports of low compliance with COVID-19 protocols in schools, the Islamic Republic refuses to close the schools and insists on mandated in-person exams. On the other hand, the regime has shut down the borders for 15 days to 12 African countries in addition to Norway, UK, France and Denmark. The “fully vaccinated” foreigners from other countries could enter Iran, but only through airports. However, dual-nationals, students and other exemptions apply.
Health experts believe 3-dose vaccination is the only way to contain Omicron. According to official data, since February 9, only 5,922,213 (7.05% of Iran population) have received 3 doses of these vaccines. The majority of shots used in Iran are the ineffective Sinopharm and failed COVIran Barekat. WHO recommends 3 doses of Sinopharm to be effective against Delta but studies have found the vaccine ineffective against Omicron. It is worth mentioning, Khamenei banned US and UK made vaccines in January to promote his own foundation’s COVIran Barekat.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 52 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,857 tested positive for the novel coronavirus, no sequencing details were shared with the public. 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: 6,184,762 (+1,857)
Dead: 131,400 (+52)
Critical: 2,774 (-18)
Active Cases: 26,984 (-362)
Total Tests: 41,491,521
Cover: Mahdi Marizad