Omicron is raging through Iran. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are on the rise across the country while Islamic Republic insists on reopening of all businesses, schools and universities. Rasht reported 37.7% increase in hospitalizations. Shiraz Medical University announced a spike in outpatients and positive tests in Fars. Head of Arak Medical University said some of Markazi counties are in “yellow” status. Dr. Jamalian emphasized that the sixth wave of COVID-19, dominated by Omicron, has begun in Iran.
Khuzestan is on the same boat. Semnan officials recorded rising number of hospitalizations across the province. Alborz authorities reiterated increasing number of positive tests in the region. West Azerbaijan announced Omicron is becoming dominant. In Khorasan Razavi too, the hospitals are facing an overload of cases. In Tehran, ICU beds are being occupied with COVID-19 critical patients. Head of Kerman Medical University warned “Omicron’s flame will intensify” in the province very soon! Lorestan joins the provinces with confirmed cases of Omicron.
Secretary of Scientific Committee at National COVID-19 Task Force claimed Iran is close to the peak of Omicron wave. Dr. Jama’ati urged people to receive their 3rd dose of vaccines as soon as possible. However, people do not show any interest in the vaccines used in Iran. Eynollahi, Health Minister of the Islamic Republic, admitted to the fact.
Dr. Younesian, Secretary of Epidemiology Committee of the Task Force, emphasized that if the current path continues without any intervention from the government, in 10 days, daily COVID-19 cases will reach about 13,000! He made it clear that Omicron has become dominant in Iran and based on its extreme transmissibility, it could overrun the healthcare system. He said even if all restrictions are back and everybody complies with the protocols from today, it takes 1-2 weeks to see results. The epidemiologist added, regardless of the measures, “daily cases will reach 5-digit again.” Younesian called on the officials to take this “delay” into account when making decisions.
According to official definition of “full vaccination” and Ministry of Health data, since February 9, only 14,856,764 (17.68% 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 21 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 7,691 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: 6,258,181 (+7,691)
Dead: 132,251 (+21)
Critical: 1,222 (+14)
Active Cases: 43,171 (+5,254)
Total Tests: 44,138,128
Cover: Fatemeh Rahimavian