Fars province reports suspected cases of the new UK variant of coronavirus. Health authorities said coronavirus cases experience a spike and south of the province may be upgraded to red next week. Abyek, Qazvin, where the first UK variant COVID-19 death in Iran happened, recorded 19 new cases in the city. Qazvin officials say 15% of PCR tests in the province turn out positive and young patients are on the rise. Zanjan officials express their concern over being exposed to the mutated virus saying the province is entering its next wave. They insist the best way to defeat the virus is to prevent it, 9-10% of hospitalizations end in deaths. Markazi reports increasing number of cases across the province. Hormozgan quarantined 8 villages due to out-of-control number of cases.
Khuzestan’s situation remains devastating. Officials in Ahvaz announced there’s no more ICU beds available in the city. Abolnejadian said hospitals in province may not be able to meet demand, the future is bleak. Head of Ahvaz Medical University reported 91 contacts of a person with confirmed UK variant infection were traced. 9 of whom were in Ahvaz and 82 in Tehran, the 9 in Ahvaz had positive test for the mutated version. He added 2 new infections with UK variant are also confirmed in Abadan. Khuzestan Governor, in a video call with the National Task Force presided by the Islamic Republic President, asked for more authority since “we have to decide at the moment,” referring to the long time provinces have to wait for Tehran to micromanage every decision due to “security” issues.
National Task Force Spokesman explained the group’s decisions about Persian New Year’s Holidays and people traveling. Raisi said, if the decline in cases and deaths continue, the trips could be divided into 4 categories: Completely use tour agencies, only use travel agencies for transportation tickets, travel with personal car and stay in personal homes, and the ones who camp. He said the third category is the one with most problems. He added, if the situation changes and red cities increase, travel restrictions would be reimposed.
Raisi continued 250,000 doses of Chinese coronavirus vaccine, Sinopharm, is to be imported in the next 10 days, while 2 million doses is the total agreement. Deputy Health Minister in Health Affairs announced COVAX vaccines which are manfactured by AstraZeneca in South Korea will arrive in the next 2 weeks. Saeed Namaki said the imported 100,000 doses of Sputnik V will be used for healthcare staff while the next vulnerable group will receive Sinopharm.
While even officials have admitted the real number of cases and deaths due to coronavirus in Iran are 3-4 times higher than what is reported, Ministry of Health Spokesperson continues to present her daily manipulated data. Sima Sadat Lari announced 68 COVID-19 deaths in the past 24 hours in Iran while 7,922 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Testing remains in the same range while active cases keep rising. Critical cases increased for the first time in months. Graphs indicate the new wave forming, after 12 months of mismanagement by the Islamic Republic.
Total: 1,566,081 (+7,922)
Dead: 59,409 (+68)
Critical: 3,677 (+8)
Admitted: 168,795 (+1,139)
Tests: 10,387,561 (12.4% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Seyed Mohammad Alerasoul