First COVID-19 deaths due to Omicron in Iran were announced today. According to the Islamic Republic Ministry of Health, 3 have died of Omicron, Yazd, Tabriz and Shahr-e-Kurd each had 1 fatality. Head of PR Office also warned that the “threat is very serious” and reported spike in Omicron cases across the country. Hashemi said 1,162 cases have been confirmed with Mashhad being at the top of the cities with a surge in cases with 249. Deputy Health Minister in Treatment Affairs urged all hospitals across the country to be prepared for the wave of patients.
Head of Ahvaz Medical University reported the number of COVID-19 cases in Khuzestan is doubling every week and if history is any indication, the peak of next wave will happen in the next 1-2 months. He predicted “the upcoming Persian New Year will be a difficult one!” Dr. Sarmast admitted the vaccination for 1st and 2nd dose has almost reached 0 per day in the province. Khuzestan Governor reiterated the warning about Omicron rise in the province.
Despite all the warnings and expectation of the next wave of COVID-19 wave in Iran, Islamic Republic officials continue to push for in-person classes in schools and universities.
According to official data, since February 9, only 12,205,821 (14.53% 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 18 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,421 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: 6,218,741 (+1,421)
Dead: 132,044 (+18)
Critical: 1,369 (-40)
Active Cases: 24,064 (-550)
Total Tests: 43,326,629
Cover: Fatemeh Rahimavian