The explosive surge, even in the undercounted and manipulated data of the Islamic Republic Ministry of Health, has had provincial officials and health experts worried. 175% increase in COVID-19 cases in the past 3 days is alarming to all but the Islamic Republic officials. The Interior Minister reiterated his previous statement that “no new restriction will be imposed.” Ahmad Vahidi announced all schools and universities must be ready to reopen for the new semester for in-person classes. He added travel restrictions from neighboring countries have been lifted and anybody with negative PCR and 2-dose vaccination could enter Iran. Despite all the warnings that 2-dose vaccination brings no immunity against Omicron.
Omicron cases increase, spreading to new provinces including Gilan! Head of Infectious Disease Center of the Ministry of Health warned about the spread of Omicron and low vaccination coverage across Iran, especially for the 3rd dose. Dr. Gooya also admitted not everybody is tested for Omicron but “special cases” are because “we don’t have enough test kits in Iran”. He did not mention what criteria is used for these cases. Secretary of Scientific Committee at National COVID-19 Task Force repeated his concern about the 8million who have not received any shot yet! He repeated his warning about the sixth wave of COVID-19 in Iran and demanded resumption of all gatherings such as concerts, schools, universities be postponed for a few weeks, until more people receive vaccination. He emphasized Omicron is not a weak variant, “it can cause severe illness and death.”
Dr. Alavi from Ahvaz Medical University is another expert who voiced his concern about the next wave of COVID-19 in Iran, dominated by Omicron, in the next few weeks. He specifically forewarned about the concurrent infections with Omicron and Delta variants. He made it clear that whoever that has not taken their 3rd dose is considered unvaccinated against Omicron, reported that 87% of Khuzestan population is unvaccinated! He compared the situation in Canada during last week that deaths spiked 94% and said when Canada with that healthcare system sees such increase, “we will be doomed!” He urged the officials to do everything possible to prevent the next wave, including increasing vaccination rate. Deputy Head of Bushehr agreed with Alavi and said in the next month Omicron will take over Delta in Iran and “red and orange colors” will come back to the map! Dr. Khaje’ian admitted people have not been interested in the 3rd dose at all. Deputy Health Minister has confessed people do not trust the vaccines used in Iran.
While the “Supreme Leader” of the regime praised nurses in front of cameras less than a month ago, his goons in Judiciary has arrested and imprisoned Shadi Gilak, on fabricated charges of “propaganda against the regime.” She is sentenced to 1 year in prison. Arash Johari, Shadi’s husband, is a labor activist and in his open letter from prison, he called out regime’s hostage taking tactic in imprisoning his wife to put pressure on him! “This is how the regime repaid my wife’s sacrifice in fighting COVID-19 in hospitals,” he wrote.
According to official data, since February 9, only 11,045,991 (13.14% 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.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 25 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,961 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 begin to rise too. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 317,000 have died of the disease since February 2020. Graphs illustrate the ongoing crisis in Iran and forming of the new wave.
Total: 6,210,298 (+1,961)
Dead: 131,940 (+25)
Critical: 1,619 (-73)
Active Cases: 23,688 (+507)
Total Tests: 42,988,265