A few days after 1979 Islamic Revolution anniversary, and 5 weeks to another Persian tradition, the Persian New Year, suddenly Rouhani issues warning that the fourth wave of coronavirus has started in Iran. Number of dangerous counties changes and many provinces continue to report infections soaring. Khuzestan, with 9 red counties, is in critical condition, with hospitals already at full capacity. Abadan Medical College reported 80% of Taleghani Hospital’s wards’ capacity and 100% of its ICU are filled with COVID-19 patients and can’t accept new patients! Most neighboring provinces have closed their borders with Khuzestan.
National Task Force Spokesman said even though the number of deaths is declining, it’s the result of restrictions from weeks before, and the increase in cases now, will reveal its effects in 4-5 weeks from now with more fatality. He added, Hormozgan’s situation is almost under control but Gilan and Golestan, N Iran, need to be more vigilant! He emphasized the number of blue and yellow counties decreased while 9 became red and some upgraded to orange. Ilam province turned yellow from blue while cases in Semnan are on the rise. According to Raisi, West Azerbaijan, East Azerbaijan, Isfahan, Kerman, Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad, South Khorasan, Gilan, Golestan and Mazandaran have orange counties and warning signs of new wave are seen in these provinces.
Saeed Namaki announced 3 deaths due to coronavirus UK variant in Iran! The Health Minister admitted a 71 year old female died of this variant a week ago, while nobody reported the death! The last update about the fast spreading variant was on January 27, when the 7th case was reported in Khuzestan! The Health Minister added, the female patient didn’t have any travel abroad, and a patient has been to Alborz and Qazvin, making it obvious the UK variant is spreading throught the country, and should be assumed it’s in every city, village and family. He didn’t pass up the opportunity to praise himself for predicting “these days”, saying, “One of the hardest days of managing COVID-19 has started. We’re at the beginning of a terrible coronavirus trend.”
In the meantime, Head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee reported 7 cases of UK variant in Tehran province in the past 2 weeks! He didn’t mention details of the cases. Zali continued, it’s not strange to see new mutations and this won’t be the last one! Vice-Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly and member of National Task Force expressed his concern over “patients with UK and South African variants have been identified in Iran.” He didn’t offer any more details. Qazvin officials announced “critical situation” in the province, while Zanjan, neighboring province, just reopened gyms and other sporting venues!
All these reports are a reminder that in the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic in Iran, almost a year ago, Islamic Republic chose to hide the truth and continuously denied existence of coronavirus because of the Islamic Revolution anniversary, allowing the virus to ravage through Iran for political gains.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson continues to present daily reports while her statistics have been widely criticized and even officials have admitted the real numbers are 3-4 times higher. Sima Sadat Lari announced 74 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in Iran while 7,120 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. She added, “there are 9 red counties, 39 orange, 228 yellow and 172 blue.”
Testing remains in the same 55,000 daily while active cases keep rising. Today, Saeed Namaki asked Medical Universities across the country to increase daily tests, even though his promise of 100,000 tests a day has not been delivered after months. Graphs depict the new wave formation.
Total: 1,510,873 (+7,210)
Dead: 58,883 (+74)
Critical: 3,720 (-9)
Admitted: 160,264 (+334)
Tests: 9,993,224 (12.0% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Fatemeh Aali