Omicron has been identified in 12 provinces of Iran. Dr. Tabarsi, a member of Scientific Committee at the National COVID-19 Task Force, asked the government to increase the number of tests and admitted “Omicron cases are definitely more than what is reported.” The Infectious-disease specialist emphasized that Iran must perform at least 100million tests a day, while it is currently around 100,000 and according to official data, it is decreased every day! Tabarsi stated the new super contagious variant is circulating all over the country. Dr. Souri, another member of the National Task Force said all “common cold patients” must be considered COVID-19 with Omicron.
At the same time, Deputy Head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee admitted the number of samples sequenced is too low and only “the central lab” could perform the test, “we don’t have a real number for Omicron cases.” Dr. Tavakoli reported between 2000-2500 outpatients on a daily basis at Tehran hospitals with the positivity rate of 5%. He expressed his concern over the spread of Omicron as it could overload the hospitals.
Despite all these warnings, even by the Ministry of Health officials, and increasing cases of COVID-19 among children at schools, Islamic Republic has refused to close schools or lift mandated in-person exams.
3-dose vaccination remains the “only way” to combat the novel coronavirus, especially the Omicron variant. Official data indicate that since February 9, only 7,683,148 (9.14% 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 34 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,703 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Number of daily tests performed in the country continue to decline despite experts advice to have a more active case finding. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 315,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,194,401 (+1,703)
Dead: 131,606 (+34)
Critical: 2,694 (-19)
Active Cases: 25,705 (-600)
Total Tests: 41,982,912
Cover: Meysam Maleki