Deputy Health Minister in Treatment Affairs reported 194 confirmed cases of Omicron in Iran. Dr. Karimi admitted spread of Omicron is worrisome and people should expedite their 3rd dose vaccination. He also confessed COVID-19 hospitalizations have been up and down and hospitals are on high alert. Following the increasing concern over stoppage of “subsidized currency” for medicine import, which could be devastating for all patients across the country with unimaginable price hikes, Karimi said “the decision is not final yet,” contrary to what Islamic Republic Health Minister had said yesterday: “Mr. President has allocated enough (subsidized) currency for the necessary (medicine) import.” However, Director of Plan and Budget Organization of Iran confirmed the reports that “subsidized currency” will not exist anymore in the next year’s budget.
Meanwhile, Khuzestan officials are “extremely worried” about the Omicron spread in the province while compliance with protocols has reached below 50%! Dr. Ahmadi-Baloutaki asked people to go to vaccination centers for their 3rd dose as soon as possible. Head of Arak Medical University warned about the assumption that Omicron is “mild!” Dr. Jamalian emphasized on the importance of 3rd dose vaccination as well. Fars increased the working hours of outpatient clinics across the province in light of increasing cases.
Despite all warnings and “worries”, the Islamic Republic Ministry of Health insists on holding in-person final exams for all medical students across Iran. Schools remain open and some require students to attend classes in-person.
On the other hand, the mistrust between the people and the regime has caused many to refuse getting any shot or complete their series. In Rasht alone, 17% of urban and 11% of suburban population have refused to receive any vaccine used in Iran. Markazi had reported similar numbers. Official data indicate that since February 9, only 8,373,467 (9.96% 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 a recent report, the discrepancies indicate that some of the imported vaccines may have been sent for the terrorist group, Hezbollah.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 22 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 1,677 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: 6,198,590 (+1,677)
Dead: 131,702 (+22)
Critical: 2,624 (-34)
Active Cases: 24,299 (-37)
Total Tests: 42,281,617
Cover: Mohsen Esmaeilzadeh