COVID-19 critical cases and deaths are on the rise across Iran. 13% of hospitalized patients in Fars are in critical condition. Shortage of healthcare staff has exacerbated the situation. 12% of staff in Khuzestan hospitals have contracted the novel coronavirus. Deputy Head of Ahvaz Medical University in Treatment Affairs said every week, cases and hospitalizations have increased in the past 4 weeks, warning about the deterioration of the situation in the coming week. Dr. Haybar reported 76.5% of ICU beds in the province are occupied. Despite all those reports, Governor of Khuzestan announced all schools will remain open!
National COVID-19 Task Force has only closed kindergartens for another week in “red” cities, while cases in Khuzestan have risen 10 times, 337 cities are in “red” status, 335 teachers and 560 students are infected in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari alone, Alborz hospitalizations are through the roof and Fars reports soaring cases. Gilan continues to struggle with flood of patients. Markazi province is all red with full hospitals. In the sixth wave, Tehran EMS has responded to 3 times more calls than previous weeks.
An official from Ahvaz Medical University admits the vaccination rate has significantly reduced in the province and the country. Dr. Alavi said the daily reported numbers are because children 5-11 have started receiving the vaccines. At the same time, as Omicron is ravaging throughout the country, Islamic Republic Health Minister bragged about “being one of the countries that has controlled the COVID-19!” Eynollahi admitted, hospitalizations will reach the peak soon.
According to official definition of “full vaccination” and Ministry of Health data, since February 9, only 22,068,114 (26.27% 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 191 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 12,058 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.
Total: 6,925,485 (+12,058)
Dead: 134,798 (+191)
Critical: 4,011 (+169)
Active Cases: 332,058 (-19,374)
Total Tests: 46,540,150
Cover: Peyman Hamidipoor