Sputnik V has created another rift among health experts and officials in Iran! According to Dr. Hashemian, an ICU specialist at Masih Daneshvari Hospital in Tehran, Ministry of Health was strongly against the Russian coronavirus vaccine and objected to his suggestion to import the vaccine 6 months ago! He says, “Why didn’t they import it 6months ago if they wanted to import it anyway?!” Head of Health Commission at Islamic Consultative Assembly also criticized the choice of Sputnik V as the vaccine for Iranians, “Iranians shouldn’t become guinea pigs for Russians. Vaccine is not a political matter, its safety and efficacy should not be based on political relations.” He was referring to the fact that Islamic Republic Foreign Minister announced approval of Sputnik V on his trip to Moscow, and FDA “approved” it two days later! Shahriari continued, “The data surrounding this vaccine are not transparent” and he won’t take the jab!
Immediately after Zarif, Rouhani’s Chief of Staff said 2 million doses are on the way, and Kazem Jalali, Islamic Republic Ambassador to Russia, announced the first batch will arrive in Tehran on February 4! Dr Minoo Mohraz, explicitly has said this vaccine cannot be used in Iran because it hasn’t been approved by any international organization and Russia approved it before it passed its third phase of clinical trial! She rebuked the FDA and said she won’t use Sputnik V! Jahanpur, FDA Spokesman, responded by insulting Mohraz, saying she has no authority and place in “assessing” a vaccine. Mohraz believes, “There is no data to assess.” It’s worth noting, Dr. Mohraz is the head of clinical trials for the COVIran Barekat vaccine.
Head of Research Group at “Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order”, responsible for developing COVIran Barekat, claimed the Iranian vaccine “fully neutralized the UK variant.” He didn’t mention what the “full neutralization” and “the complete success” means and didn’t offer any scientific data to prove his claim.
Provincial officials from four corners of Iran have sounded the alarm for the upcoming coronavirus next peak! Hormozgan has upgraded 3 counties from “blue” to “yellow” due to increasing number of cases. Kermanshah announced rise in cases and walk-ins. Head of Arak Medical University said, “Next peak’s smell is permeated in Markazi and all over the country.” Deputy head of Shiraz Medical University predicts if the increase in cases continue in this rate, “Fars will be red in the next 2 weeks.” Semnan officials report soaring cases of walk-ins in their hospitals across the province.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson expressed her worry for the next peak, especially about the condition in Golestan, Gilan and Mazandaran, the northern belt of the country. According to her, the highest number of deaths has been in North Khorasan, Gilan and Golestan during the past week. Sima Sadat Lari said, “People’s assumption that everything is back to normal has led to them not abiding by protocols. There is a direct correlation and number of cases and deaths will increase soon. This is a red alarm for all of us.”
Tehran has been no exception. Dr. Zali reported 1,966 hospitalized patients across Tehran hospitals, which shows a spike compared to the week before. According to him, walk-in cases have soared too. Head of Tehran Corona Combating Committee voiced his concern over overcrowded public transportation in the capital. Considering the new variants are spreading in Iran as well, that could be like a ticking time bomb!
Sima Sadat Lari presented her daily undercounted figures. According to the manipulated numbers, 82 have died of COVID-19 in Iran in the past 24 hours while 6,317 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Testing remains in the same range while critical cases reach 3,964. Deaths and cases’ growth factors have not even come close to 1 during more than 11 months of crisis, as seen on graphs.
Total: 1,411,731 (+6,317)
Dead: 57,889 (+82)
Critical: 3,964 (-26)
Admitted: 150,949 (-284)
Tests: 9,230,376 (11.1% of the population, assuming each test was performed on 1 person)
Cover: Akbar Badrkhani