One day after the regime held its “anniversary parade” across Iran with heavy propaganda, even in “red” cities, without following any COVID-19 restriction or protocol, Islamic Republic President said there should not be any push for any gathering! At the same time, Islamic Republic Minister of Education, who had encouraged all parents to send their children to schools amid soaring Omicron, issued a “condolence” tweet for 2 students who died in Kermanshah. Another student passed away in Hamedan and officials “denied” passing of 2 other in Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad. Despite all warnings and disasters, the National COVID-19 Task Force just approved closing of kindergartens in “red” cities for 1 week, and in other grades or cities, in-person classes carry on.
Khuzestan reports 74% of its ICU beds are occupied and many “normal” beds have been turned into ICU beds! According to the head of Ahvaz Medical University, more than 7,000 went to Khuzestan hospitals in the past 24 hours with COVID-19 symptoms. Dr. Sarmast also expressed his concern over shortage of healthcare staff as hospitals are overloaded with patients. He reported more than 750 of hospitals’ personnel have contracted the virus in the sixth wave. Dr. Alavi, deputy head of the university, criticized the government for low number of test kits in Khuzestan. He rebuked the officials for not enforcing protocols properly, not quarantining COVID-19 passengers at the borders and reported 54% of people have delayed their 3rd dose of vaccination!
In Mashhad, the second major city of Iran, Omicron continues to break records. More than 2,800 went to hospitals in the past 24 hours, with more than 50% positivity rate in tests. Dr. Anjidani reported 300 hospitalizations across Khorasan Razavi province, cautioning children are 20% more vulnerable in this wave compared to previous ones. Dr. Hosseini from Mashhad Medical University reported 21% of hospitalizations in the province are children under 16. In Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad, children consist 30% of admissions.
Deputy Governor of Markazi warned about “explosive increase in numbers” and reported “unexpected” daily death toll has more than doubled in a “short period of time!” Head of Kermanshah Medical University predicted “harder days ahead” with full hospitals and shortage of staff.
Meanwhile, Islamic Republic media have already begun blaming the people for “traveling” and spreading Omicron, instead of mentioning how the regime held its religious gatherings, its propaganda ceremonies, downplayed the new variant and bragged about ineffective vaccines. Even Head of Crisis Prevention and Management Organization of Tehran admits the COVID-19 protocols have not been followed by officials in “Fajr Film Festival” and movie theaters.
According to official definition of “full vaccination” and Ministry of Health data, since February 9, only 21,084,795 (25.10% of Iran population) are vaccinated against COVID-19 with these vaccines. It is estimated that more than 53 million Iranians are at risk of contracting Omicron. The majority of shots used in Iran are the ineffective Sinopharm and COVIran Barekat. WHO recommends 3 doses of Sinopharm to be effective against Delta but studies have found the vaccine ineffective against Omicron.
The Islamic Republic “Supreme Leader” banned the relaibale US and UK made vaccines, leading to tsunami of deaths during Delta wave. Khamenei promoted his foundation’s shot, COVIran Barekat, which failed miserably. Multiple “homegrown” vaccines, including PastoCoVac, COVPars, Fakhra, Noora, Spikogen, never met the expectations and none of them has published their results or received recognition/approval from international health organizations. WHO even warned about fake AstraZeneca shots used in Iran. The Ministry of Health denied the report saying the international health body meant the “black market doses used.”
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 133 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 18,598 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. Active cases soar and critical patients reach a new record. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 320,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,780,453 (+18,598)
Dead: 133,570 (+133)
Critical: 3,343 (+82)
Active Cases: 365,609 (-2,569)
Total Tests: 45,980,540
Cover: Fatemeh Rahimavian