Islamic Republic Health Ministry admits to its incapability to assess the scope of Omicron spread across Iran. Director of PR office quoted health experts that 30-40% of COVID-19 cases in the country are Omicron infections. Meanwhile, epidemiologists warn about record breaking number of daily COVID-19 cases in the upcoming days. Dr. Souri said based on a study, 60% of cases are Omicron. He blamed the low number of tests as one of the main reasons for uncertainty about the spread of the variant.
Local officials from different provinces report soaring COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In Tehran, Dr. Zali reported increasing number of cases among children below 10. He said 43% of the children with COVID-19 have no preexisting condition. Markazi province recorded 120% rise in cases and the sixth wave has officially begun. Khuzestan announced Omicron as its dominant variant with doubling cases in a week. Head of Ahvaz Medical University emphasized that all “runny nose and sore throat” should be considered Omicron. Officials admitted COVID-19 patients refuse to be quarantined in the border and are entering the country! Yasouj Medical University believes the sixth wave has begun in Kohgiloyeh-Boyerahmad. Bushehr is on the same boat with soaring cases. Fars authorities reiterated the same points.
In the meantime, despite low compliance with restrictions and only 57% following mask mandates, Islamic Republic officials insist on reopening schools, universities, all businesses, and religious gatherings such as Friday Prayers.
According to official definition of “full vaccination” and Ministry of Health data, since February 9, only 14,269,799 (16.98% of Iran population) are vaccinated against COVID-19 with 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 30 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 3,503 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: 6,245,346 (+3,503)
Dead: 132,202 (+30)
Critical: 1,216 (-12)
Active Cases: 35,120 (+1,179)
Total Tests: 43,953,611
Cover: Majid Khahi