Omicron continues its spread across Iran. Even though the Islamic Republic has reduced the daily PCR testing and only few specimens are sequenced in only 2-3 centers across the country, more provinces join the list with surging number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations including Fars, Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan. Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari confirmed its first case of Omicron. Khuzestan reported “fragile condition” and Markazi announced spike in cases in 6 counties. East Azerbaijan has more than 60 positive cases a day (with low number of testing), while daily death toll remains between 4-5.
Despite health experts advice and local authorities, people do not trust the vaccines used in Iran. In Markazi alone, 100,000 (9% of province population) have not received any shot, 17% refuse to get their second dose and only 11.5% of the province population have been jabbed 3 times. Official data indicate that since February 9, only 7,887,288 (9.38% 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.
In addition to all economic struggles Iranians are faced on a daily basis, the Islamic Republic’s decision to omit the “subsidized currency for medicine import” will have devastating effects on everyday life of millions of people. It has been the regime’s strategy to create confusion and blame others or “rumors by enemies” for the current situation, with back and forth denials and confirmations. Today, regime’s “President” criticized the medicine price hike and called it “unacceptable!” He claimed the authorities must stop “the responsible parties” and surge in prices. It was not clear whom he was criticizing since he is the “President!” On the other hand, FDA officials have already confirmed the reports which has increased prices, in some cases up to 6 times!
Air pollution continues in metropolitan areas, including Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad and Ahvaz. Schools continue to hold their final exams in-person, despite all warnings and increasing cases among students.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 33 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,002 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: 6,195,403 (+1,002)
Dead: 131,639 (+33)
Critical: 2,676 (-18)
Active Cases: 24,593 (-1,112)
Total Tests: 42,078,937
Cover: Morteza Zangene